By Alpha Kamara
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AA) – World football governing body FIFA suspended Sierra Leone from all international competitions with immediate effect.
The move came as a result of government interference into activities of the country’s football association.
“The Bureau of the FIFA Council decided today to suspend the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) with immediate effect due to government interference,” FIFA said in a statement.
The decision came after a recent letter from FIFA to the country’s Minister of Sports to express grave concern about the removal of the SLFA President Isha Johanssen and General Secretary Chris Kamara.
The statement requests that both be allowed to access the SLFA premises without further delay to ensure the operations of the SLFA, including FIFA-funded projects, are not jeopardized.
Following its suspension, the SLFA has lost all its membership rights as defined in article 13 of the FIFA Statutes.
“The SLFA’s national and affiliated club teams are no longer entitled to take part in international competitions until the suspension is lifted,” the statement noted.
On Sept. 17, the country’s anti-graft agency raided the office of SLFA. The agency is investigating alleged corruption by Johanssen and Kamara.
Sierra Leone was supposed to play against Ghana on Oct. 11 in the African cup of nations qualifiers in Kumasi.
The country’s sports ministry has not responded to the suspension.