President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma on Monday February 27 urged the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) to ensure it speedily resolves all outstanding differences among stakeholders and call for an immediate Congress.
The president gave this admonition upon receiving the Seven-Man Working Committee report and also having keen audience with football stakeholders at State House in Freetown.
"When the young folks miss their opportunity in football, the blame will definitely be on government," the president noted, and advised the football association to call off the proposed extraordinary meeting and quickly validate the 44 delegates verified and standardized out of the 47 by the Seven-Man Working Committee. "Let us move very fast for the Congress by making sure we have settled all outstanding issues or else government will step in," he warned, and also called for the speedy implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the Seven-Man Working Committee.
Chairman of the Working Committee Dr Sheku Sorsoh Conteh who presented the report apologized for the delay. According to him, the Committee which commenced work on May 17, 2016, was expected to have completed its task within three-month period but owing to challenges he highlighted, the Committee could only present the report on February 27, 2017.
The difficulties he highlighted in the process included the 30% operational budget affection, third party interference, the several attempts by Deputy Minister of Sport Ishmail Al-Sankoh Conteh to influence the Committee operations/decisions, absence of structures within the system and lack of established evidence of functionality of entities, constitutionality and best practices.
According to Dr Conteh, the report mainly focused on the identification/verification process of the SLFA 47 member delegates in every region and district of Sierra Leone. He reported that 44 out of 47 SLFA delegates have been successfully verified and standardized. He said three entities who cannot meet the primary requirements of the process have been left out pending their regularization which has to be done with SLFA after the submission of the report. The report, he said, was divided into chapters - from chapter one to nine and with recommendations.