FIFA orders Sierra Leone to reform and rules Johansen dismissal invalid

December 27 – The bitter in-fighting over who runs Sierra Leone football has taken another twist with FIFA’s Members Association Committee giving under-fire Sierra Leone FA (SLFA) president Isha Johansen a boost by ordering a series of reforms.

In October, the SFLA executive ruled that both Johansen and her general secretary Christopher Kamara should be set aside during a trial brought by the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

The case is still ongoing with a verdict still to be reached but FIFA has deemed the dismissals invalid and has now re-inforced calls for integrity checks on elected officials and a new code of ethics. FIFA has also called for a roadmap to elect an electoral committee as part of a bid to hold delayed SLFA elections.

FIFA made the recommendations after its taskforce visited Freetown in late September.

In a letter dated 21 December, it said one reason it decided to act was the confusion caused by the case brought by the ACC against Johansen.

“The (Members Association) Committee decided to mandate the FIFA administration to implement the recommendations of the task force, which represent the only legitimate way to lead the SLFA out of the current impasse,” said the FIFA letter, signed by Deputy Secretary General Zvonimir Boban.

Johansen, whose tenure as president ended in August but who has applied for re-election, claims the charges against her are trumped up and politically motivated, designed to block a match-fixing inquiry involving Sierra Leone’s national team. Since 2014, eleven officials and four players have been suspended by the SLFA pending investigation, with all having denied wrongdoing.

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