Court to deliver verdict on government's case against Sierra Leone FA on Monday

Published on: 26 May 2019
Court to deliver verdict on government's case against Sierra Leone FA on Monday
Isha Johansen

Isha Johansen will discover on Monday if she will continue in per post as the Sierra Leone FA President as the High Court in Freetown will deliver its judgement on the allegations of corruption and mismanagement levelled against her by the government.

The ruling will also decide the future of game in the country following the worldwide ban by FIFA that prevented them from playing in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Johansen and FA Secretary General, Chris Kamara are on trial following allegations of corruption and mismanagement - a claim they vehemently reject.

The two officials have denied any wrongdoing referring to the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) push as “political interference” into the running of football which FIFA is opposed to.

Both the prosecution and the defence teams made their closing arguments earlier this month, paving the way for Justice Reginald Fynn to deliver the final verdict of the court on Monday.

The stand-off has halted the game in the country and Fifa has said that it will only consider lifting the suspension after the case against the top SLFA officials is concluded in court.

The pair are facing three counts of corruption brought by Sierra Leone's Anti Corruption Commission, which has set aside both Johansen and Kamara from their SLFA posts.

Fifa still recognises Johansen as SLFA president while the ACC sees vice-president Brima Mazola Kamara as being in control alongside and assistant secretary general Abdul Rahman Swarray.

The ACC says that under Sierra Leone law, both Johansen and Kamara must vacate their posts until their case on corruption-related charges concludes.

This led to the suspension was imposed by Fifa, because of third party interference in the running of the SLFA with the action of the ACC considered as an interference in the sport by government.

It led to Sierra Leone's Africa Cup of Nations back-to-back qualifiers with Ghana in October being cancelled.

The country’s anti-graft body has been very crucial in setting aside Johansen and Kamara from football administration duties whiles the case against them continue, this the commission say is in line with their laws.

The participation of Sierra Leone on the international stage now hinges on the conclusion of this case, FIFA say they will consider bringing back Sierra Leone in the national fold whenever this case concludes.

The court case relates to “discrepancies in the financial statement of the SLFA relating to donor funds”, an apparent reference by the ACC to FIFA's grants to the SLFA which is not a government agency.

Despite all these claims, the ACC  would not say how much was involved as they are clearly not abreast with the amount involved.

 

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