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WAHALA… DEMONSTRATION OVER SALONE FOOTBALL

Youths and football stakeholders across the Western Area yesterday stormed the Ministry of Sports with placards to register their dissatisfaction with the non-compliance of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) to organize the overdue Congress for a new Executive to take the administration of the F.A.

The protesters presented eight-point resolution asking the Ministry of Sports to take action against the F.A. The Chairman of football stakeholders, Mago Tarawally, who presented the eight-point resolution to the Ministry of Sports, said there is no sanity in football in the country and that the F.A. is hiding behind FIFA for protection.

He suggested to the Ministry of Sports to take position on the ongoing impasse through action.

In response, the Director of Sports, Ibrahim Bangura told the protested that they have heard their cry and that their protest was quite in place given that football has almost died in the country.

The Director of Sports assured that they would hold a meeting to discuss their eight-point resolution and get back to them as soon as possible.

According to the aggrieved youths, the tenure of the Madam Isha Johansen led Executive expired on 3rd August, 2017, adding that until there is an elective Congress, the football family would not recognize the Madam Johansen led Executive because it has no legitimacy.

The current Minister of Sports, Mr. Ibrahim Nyelenkeh and his Deputy, Kai Lawrence Mbayoh aka KLM witnessed the protest but refused to comment.

The irate youths and football stakeholders vehemently condemned the insistence of the world’s football governing body - FIFA to impose an illegitimate Executive on the football family in Sierra Leone perpetuate and force on the football family in Sierra Leone which they claimed has succeeded in bringing discord, rancor and disunity to the football family.

“The SLFA Constitution is very clear on the mandate of an executive, which is four years,” a release by football stakeholders state, noting that the four years of Madam Johansen has ended and that what is constitutionally right at this moment is to hold an elective congress.

The stakeholders also explained in their release that the continued attempt by FIFA, through procedural delaying tactics to impose an executive that has lost the trust and confidence of its members further underscores the lack of transparency and the culture of undemocratic practices that FIFA has instituted around the world to protect cronies like the Madam Isha Johansen led executive.

It could be recalled that the Sierra Leone Premier League has not been organized for over four seasons as the players continue to toil for their living in doing odd jobs or moving to neighbouring Guinea and Liberia in search of football clubs.

The recent dismissal of Sadick Deen Nyarkor by the Football Association has also been criticized by football stakeholders that questioned the legitimacy of the FA to dismiss members.

In a telephone conversation with The Spectator, the spokesperson of the FA explained that their position is clear and that they would not be cowed into submission by a few miscreants parading as stakeholders.

“Our position is clear; the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) has given us the timeline to go through the process,” he narrated, noting that the Football Association is meticulous in dispensing the work of their parent body.

Reports are that the Minister of Sports attempts several times to settle the impasse between the FA and football stakeholders but to no avail as both parties found it extremely difficult to reach an amicable settlement.

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