Fifa tells Sierra Leone Sports Ministry to 'abstain' from congress decisions

Sierra Leone Football Association President Isha Johansen
Isha Johansen is President of the Sierra Leone Football Association

Fifa has responded to the deepening rift in Sierra Leonean football by telling the Sports Ministry to "abstain from taking decisions" related to the timing of the Sierra Leone FA's (SLFA) next ordinary congress.

A congress should have taken place last month but was postponed indefinitely by Fifa on the grounds of carrying out integrity checks on current and potential SLFA members.

Last week, the Ministry gave the SLFA until 14 August to hold a congress to pave the way for elections, after the mandate of the current SLFA administration - led by Isha Johansen - came to an end on 3 August.

Fifa has responded to the Ministry's latest demand.

"It does not reflect the agreed road map which was initiated in order to address the conflicts and problems in Sierra Leone football," Fifa said.

Football's world governing body also repeated its directive that any ordinary congress should not be held until integrity checks are carried out on all current and potential SLFA members.

As such, Fifa warned the Ministry that the SLFA should manage its affairs "independently" and asked the sports Minister, Ahmed Khanou, "to abstain from taking any decisions contrary to this established process, particularly through the imposition of an ordinary congress on the SLFA."

A Fifa task-force is set to meet in mid-September to address the issues, and Fifa says it is still "committed to working with the Sierra Leone government, the SLFA and all goodwill organs (notably the National Sports Council) to bring sanity to football in Sierra Leone."

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