Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma has given the sports minister, Ahmed Khanou a three months ultimatum to resolve the long standing impasse in the country’s football community.
The President’s strongly worded open message came just months after the world’s football governing body FIFA’s Secretary General Fatma Samoura visited Freetown and announced a roadmap designed to bring peace between Sierra Leone's warring football factions.
“Let me use this opportunity to urge the Sports Minister to solve the issue in Sierra Leone football within the first quarter of 2017 and let me appeal to SLFA and stakeholders to lay to rest this unnecessary turmoil in football.
“There is no big issue in this fighting other than self-interest, ego and campism. We should not deprive the young talents of their rights to exposure because of our selfish interest,” said President Koroma who also doubles as President of the National Sports Council.
The Isha Johansen led Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) administration has been locked in a bitter fight with club administrators on several issues notable amongst them are- her controversial elections, organisational reforms and conveying of the SLFA congress since August 2013.
However, the SLFA first female president has enjoyed FIFA backing since then but in his recent statement, President Koroma stated: “Let nobody feel that he or she will continue to enjoy the protection of FIFA because when the FIFA Secretary General came to Freetown recently, she made it very clear that it's time the stakeholders of football in the country sat down and sorted out the issues.
This is not the first time President Koroma has intervened and made an attempt to resolve the football wrangling but it is believed this could be the last throw of the dice to solve the problem once and for all.