By: Eric Eli Adzie | Voltaonlinegh.com |
Sierra Leone’s African Nations Cup qualifier against Ghana in Kumasi will not go ahead on Thursday after the country’s football Association failed to get a FIFA suspension lifted.
Sierra Leone authorities petitioned FIFA to get the ban lifted after they reiterated their interventions in footballing activities wasn’t against the FIFA rules thereby not meeting a Tuesday ultimatum to reinstate ousted football Association president Isha Johansen.
“Our appeal has been rejected,” Sierra Leone Football Association President Brima Mazzola Kamara, who replaced Johansen, told Reuters.
“It is not what we were hoping for, especially since this now means the CAF match won’t be happening.
“FIFA told us that Isha’s reinstatement was a prerequisite for our suspension being lifted, and when we told them she had not returned to work, they denied us.”
Mazzola Kamara said that the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission will not shove on their pronouncement to oust Johansen and the Association’s General Secretary Christopher Kamara over the several allegations of match-fixing leveled against them involving the national team.
The country’s Anti-Corruption Commissioner, Francis Kaifala, has criticized FIFA saying their suspension of the country is an attack on the sovereignty of Sierra Leone.
“Corruption is the biggest emergency Sierra Leone faces right now, and these actions from FIFA are nothing less than a violation of our national sovereignty,” Kaifala said.
“They may have their rules but we also have our own and will not be bullied around. We will play the game in our hearts even if they block us from playing with them.”
Johansen and Christopher Kamara however, denied any wrongdoing.
Confederation of African Football (CAF) released a statement on its official twitter handle confirming the cancellation of their pending AFCON qualifiers against Ghana.
Sierra Leone has three points from their opening two Nations Cup qualifiers.
If this should earn us a the six points, then no problem.
But it’s rather unfortunate though.