FIFA PRESS RELEASE
FIFA and the Sierra Leone Government discuss the situation of the Sierra Leone FA
On Wednesday, 17 October 2018, a delegation of the Government of Sierra Leone led by the Vice-President, Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Priscilla Schwartz, the Ambassador to Switzerland, Lansana Gberie, and the Deputy Ambassador to Switzerland, Samuel U. B. Saffa, met with FIFA officials headed by the Secretary General, Fatma Samoura, at the Home of FIFA in Zurich. The Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) was represented by its President, *Isha Johansen.* A courtesy visit was also paid to the delegation of the Government of Sierra Leone by the FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, right after the meeting.
Discussions were cordial and focused on the situation of the SLFA following its suspension by the decision of the Bureau of the FIFA Council of 5 October 2018. In this context, the following measures were agreed:
· Both the Government of Sierra Leone and FIFA have a zero-tolerance policy for match‑fixing/manipulation and other fraudulent and corrupt practices in football.
· FIFA recognises that there is an ongoing trial by the Anti-Corruption Commission of Sierra Leone against the SLFA President, Isha Johansen, and the SLFA General Secretary, Christopher Kamara. In that regard, FIFA will wait for the completion of the trial before further measures can be considered, including the lifting of the suspension by the Bureau of the FIFA Council, if deemed appropriate.
· The Government of Sierra Leone committed to appoint its new representative to the Task Force for Sierra Leone, which also includes representatives from FIFA, CAF and the SLFA, and to ensure all the necessary support for the deployment of the Sierra Leone Inquiry Group to conduct the match-fixing investigation from 4 to 9 November 2018.
· Both the Government of Sierra Leone and FIFA expressed their full commitment to the road map as agreed by the Task Force. In this context, the FIFA administration will draw up a concrete calendar to ensure that the necessary measures are taken before conducting the election of a new SLFA executive committee in the shortest possible time frame. These measures include the revision of the SLFA statutes to ensure that eligibility checks are carried out on elected officials and that a proper regulatory framework for the conduct of democratic and independent elections is introduced.
· The Government of Sierra Leone agreed to investigate the unauthorised withdrawal of funds from the SLFA’s dedicated FIFA Forward bank account following the suspension of the SLFA and to ensure that any undue appropriation is immediately corrected.