Sierra Leone National Sports Council (NSC) and the Sports Ministry have reacted in the negative to FIFA’s ultimatum in banning the country from all FIFA and CAF competitions.
The world’s football governing body last weekend demanded that the Sierra Leone government rescind its decision to disband the country's Football Association (SLFA) by giving them until Wednesday 16th December to comply with the directive or risk the country being banned from all international competition immediately.
“The Ministry of Sports and the National Sports Council has a responsibility to govern sports in Sierra Leone and will stand by our decision to dissolve the SLFA,” the Sports director said. “FIFA must follow procedures and respect national laws. Our decision is final and cannot be changed or overturned by anyone outside our jurisdiction.”
In a letter addressed to the SLFA secretary general informing him about FIFA’s position regarding the NSC decision to dissolve the SLFA executive, the FIFA acting scribe Markus Kattner said the dissolution of the SLFA executive committee last Thursday is deemed as government third party interference.
"The decisions of the National Sports Council appear to amount to government interference in the internal affairs of the SLFA," acting Fifa secretary general Markus Kattner said in a letter to SLFA secretary general, Chris Kamara.
Kattner warned that unless the NSC backs down, the matter would be referred to Fifa's Emergency Committee - a move that would almost certainly result in the suspension of the country.
"We would like to underline the dire effects a suspension could have on Sierra Leone football.
"It would for instance mean that no team from Sierra Leone of any sort (including clubs) could have any international sporting contact," said Kattner.
The NSC’s decision to dissolv the Isha Johansen led executive came after they (SLFA) dissolved a seven-man committee set up to identify delegates for the association's next congress.
This is the second time in 2015 FIFA has issued a ban threat on Sierra Leone football. In January the world’s governing body replied to an earlier letter written by the then Director of Sports, Saidu B. Mansaray. In that reply, FIFA stated that their position was clear in what they described as interference in violation of Articles 13 and 17 of FIFA Statutes.