By KABS KANU :
It is a shame that the country where association football was first played in West Africa should be undergoing a very steep and serious decline in the organization and promotion of the game.
The F.A. Cup competition was boycotted by eight leading Premier League teams , including the big names Mighty Blackpool, East End Lions, Freetown City, Old Edwardians, F.C. Kallon,, etc. Now, the Premier League competition is facing the same fate.
Clubs are demanding that a congress be held first to discuss what is wrong with soccer in the country while the Sierra Leone Football Association ( SLFA ) is sticking to its guns that no such congress will be held. But the Congress is very necessary. Not holding the congress is like a political party going into a general election without a convention.
What is SLFA hiding ? Why is SLFA refusing to work with clubs and other stakeholders ?
The irredeemably corrupt and inept FIFA, which is a wellspring of squandermania, is one of the forces responsible for the destruction of soccer in our country. FIFA has tied the hands of the authorities from taking any action to break the deadlock between the unprogressive SLFA as it is presently constituted and other forces involved in the running of sports in the country. Anything is regarded as political interference.
If the corrupt FIFA cannot put its own soccer house in order, how can it put in order another country’s soccer home ? FIFA , which is supporting the present chaotic, unaccountable and stubborn football disorganization ( not Association ) is busy ruining our soccer. Their support for the Isha Johansen administration is doing no justice to our country.
We said it was Paul Kamara, but Paul has been gone almost for a year and SLFA continues it slide to the dog heap.
Since Isha Johansen became President of SLFA, it has been one crisis after another and she always comes on top. because of the support she enjoys from FIFA. Meanwhile, soccer continues to plunge to disgraceful levels. We are the only country that cannot run a single competition for years now.
How I long for the days of the likes of S.T. Navo, T.K. Bindi, A.D. Wurie, Edward Akar etc when Sierra Leone had one of the best soccer organizations in Africa. Internationally, we could not win trophies except Zone 2 , which we captured many times . But our local soccer was the best organized and one of the most exciting.in the continent. We had a well-organized league competition with three different divisions that started in May and ended in September . After the league, we had the Association Cup, the Chellaram Cup and then the F.A. Cup. The season ended in January , followed by a four-month rest during which we then enjoyed cricket, athletics, and other sports.
Today, there is no serious soccer program in our country, a country credited with taking soccer to Cameroon and Ghana, the African soccer powerhouses.
READ THIS REPORT FROM THE TRUMPET NEWSPAPER AND SEE HOW DISGRACEFULLY SOCCER CONTINUES TO PLUNGE IN SIERRA LEONE.
FC Kallon Threatens Boycott of National Premier League
By Sigismond Nicol
FC Kallon Secretary General Blamoh Robert, has confirmed that top football clubs will boycott any attempt by the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) to revive the National Premier League without holding congress first, according to a report.
FC Kallon, owned by Sierra Leone soccer legend, Mohamed Kallon, was one of the eight top-flight clubs that boycotted the just concluded FA Cup won by FC Johansen on Saturday in Makeni, in protest at the way the FA is running the football in recent years.
According to BBC sports, Robert reiterated: “Our positions still remain the same. The SLFA must respect the constitution by taking the membership to congress and address the issues affecting football.”
“We, together with other Premier League clubs, didn’t take part in the FA Cup because the executive committee has refused to convene congress and we have no regret not playing the FA Cup.”
Emphasizing their stance, the Chairman of Old Edwardian Football Club, Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai, maintained that “Old Edwardians is with the majority of the football stakeholders who demand transparency and accountability on how football is run in Sierra Leone.”
Vehemently he added: “Madam Isha Johansen must respect the constitution and call Congress. At Congress, we will then look into how she has expended funds for the past three years and reconcile moving forward. You can’t run a football association for three years without accounting for your stewardship.”
However, the SLFA’s director of competitions, Sorie Ibrahim Sesay, has warned that “The executive committee of the SLFA has the power to bring in teams from the first division to fill in a gap to kick-start the league,”
Sesay added, “What we have decided as a football association is to empower the regional football associations to run their various first and second divisions leagues within the next three months.
“We would then call for a national first division play-offs to determine the teams that will be promoted to the Premier League.
“The promoted teams will be on the standby to replace clubs that may want to boycott the league.”
The last edition of the Premier League was suspended through the season in 2014 because of the Ebola epidemic.
-Credit: The Trumpet Newspaper