FIFA have moved from threat to action against Sierra Leone FA, slapping the country’s football federation with an immediate suspension following ‘government interference’ in the affairs of the body.
This comes six days before Sierra Leone’s clash with Ghana in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations on October 11 before the return leg on October 15.
Both matches may not hold, according to the new development.
“The Bureau of the FIFA Council decided today to suspend the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) with immediate effect due to government interference,” the world’s football governing body announced on Friday.
“This decision comes after a recent letter from FIFA to the Minister of Sports of Sierra Leone to express grave concern about the removal of the SLFA President and the SLFA General Secretary and to request that both be allowed to access the SLFA premises without further delay to ensure that the operations of the SLFA, including FIFA-funded projects, are not jeopardised.
“The suspension will be lifted once the SLFA and its recognised leadership (led by SLFA President, Ms Isha Johansen, and SLFA General Secretary, Mr Christopher Kamara) have confirmed to FIFA that the SLFA administration, premises, accounts and communication channels are under their control once again.”
Johansen and Kamara were removed from their posts following accusations of corruption.
It remains unclear whether Sierra Leonean authorities would comply with FIFA’s directives in order to avoid forfeiting their participation in the 2019 Afcon.