State House Or Zurich Talks… Isha Must Step Aside

 

The Government is in dilemma over how to resolve the impasse between the world’s football governing body – FIFA and the country over the suspension of the President of Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA), Isha Johansen and the Secretary General Chris Kamara from office by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) pending hearing of alleged corruption charges against the two top administrators.

In reaction to FIFA’s suspension of Sierra Leone from taking part in any FIFA competition until Isha Johansen and Chris Kamara are reinstated, the government on Monday 8th October summoned called a meeting at State House that was attended by Isha Johansen, Chris Kamara and 46 football stakeholders.

ACC reportedly turned down the invitation, stating that they are an independent body. They explained that their issue with Isha Johansen and Chris Kamara is a legal matter and consequently, they have no interest in the outcome of the meeting that was held at State House or the one that was proposed to be held with FIFA at its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. As far as ACC is concerned, Isha Johansen and Chris Kamara are under indictment and, according to the ACC Act, they must be suspended from office pending the outcome of the case against them.

At the State House meeting, Isha Johansen was prevailed upon by the Chief Minister, Professor David Francis to sign a letter written to FIFA stating that the Sierra Leone football family was engaged in talks and that FIFA accordingly should lift the suspension that would allow Sierra Leone to play her African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Ghana at the weekend.

Meanwhile, at the State House meeting, Professor Francis was quoted as saying that: “Let the legal process (against Isha and Chris) continue as we are not going to interfere. Sierra Leone is a sovereign state and she does not bow to any international pressure.”