Going To Zurich To Do What? …Wastefulness


Going to Zurich to do what? This is the question many people have asked who think that the planned trip to FIFA headquarters in Zurich would be a waste of scarce state resources.

To many who oppose the idea, going to Zurich would not only be a waste of time and money, the delegation also risks being embarrassed, as according to them, FIFA would not give them audience. This is because FIFA has categorically stated that they can only reconsider Sierra Leone’s suspension when Isha and Chris Kamara are reinstated.

Moreover, FIFA, the opponents of the proposed trip to Zurich say, has a fixed policy of not dealing with governments directly; stating that governments have no right to interfere into the conduct of their member associations.

Citing the cases of Ghana and Nigeria when their football associations were suspended by FIFA, opponents of the Minister’s plan to travel to Zurich say it is unprecedented as FIFA has never entertained such a delegation.

They remind the Minister of Sports and the government that the suspended SLFA president, Isha Johanssen had twice told them that they should not expect any breakthrough going to Zurich as the problem is at home and it is where it should be fixed.

Can you give someone a knife to cut his/her throat; they ask with regards the Minister stating that Isha will be part of the planned trip to Zurich.

Those who say that the said trip will only be a waste of time and money recommend that there can be a more cost-effective way of engaging with FIFA in Zurich through the country’s ambassador to Switzerland instead of sending a costly delegation.

It could be recalled that after FIFA suspended SLFA from participating in any international football competitions until Isha Johanssen and Chris Kamara are reinstated as president and secretary general of SLFA respectively, the Minister of Sports announced that he will constitute a delegation comprising all parties to the SLFA imbroglio to travel to Zurich to engage with FIFA in a bid to resolve the current impasse especially the lifting of the SLFA suspension.

Opponents of the Minister of Sport’s planned move maintain that given the current state of the economy, his decision is not prudent as it will involve considerable financial outlay from the consolidated revenue fund for air tickets, hotel bill, per diems and other incidental expenses.

They furthered that a New Direction government that preaches austerity, belt tightening and curbing financial wastage cannot afford such unnecessary expenditure when it has more pressing needs for cash to finance important projects and programs that will benefit the people.

The so-called football stakeholders the opponents say know what FIFA’s policy is as stated in Article 13 of its rules and regulations; thus they know that their trip will be fruitless but will not say so to the Minister of Sports because of their selfishness and greed.

Meanwhile, the Anti Corruption Commissioner has said that with regards FIFA’s suspension of the SLFA, ACC maintains that FIFA’s rules and regulations are not superior to laws made Sierra Leone’s parliament. Therefore, Isha and Chris Kamara must stay out of office, as dictated by the ACC Act, until the corruption charges levied against them by the ACC are heard in a court of law.