A Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) congress was due on Friday. It has suspended pending “integrity” checks related to match-fixing allegations against the national side.
Fifteen Sierra Leonean players and officials were suspended in July 2014 over suspect matches. The match included that of World Cup qualifier. Rodney Michael who is a Sierra Leonean-Lebanese football administrator is alleged to have links to sports betting company Mercury International.
The accusations have still not been investigated by an SLFA-appointed committee headed by the country’s interior minister Palo Conteh. FIFA, however, has decided to interfere and said that the congress cannot proceed until its own investigators are satisfied with progress.
FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura has written a letter to the SLFA dated 7 July saying the meeting should be postponed “until further notice” due to pending “integrity checks” on all current or potential members of the executive committee.
Sports Minister Ahmed Khanou was disappointed by FIFA’s decision and said, “It is our role to supervise and regulate the activities of sporting associations.”
Khanou said “Ministry was trying to regulate the flow of money between the Sierra Leone Football Association and FIFA,” but said FIFA would not disclose where funds sent to the SLFA went. “We want FIFA to be transparent in their dealings by consulting us before taking decisions,” he added.