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FIFA Bans Sierra Leone from International Football

FIFA suspends Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) citing government interference.

FIFA has suspended Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) from international football citing government interference in the running of its national federation.

The world governing body said the blanket ban would come into to place with “immediate effect” which means no Sierra Leonean team, including club sides, can play in regional, continental or international competitions.

This comes after the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission barred SLFA President Isha Johansen and general secretary Christopher Kamara from accessing their offices.

“The suspension will be lifted once the SLFA and its recognized leadership (led by SLFA President, Ms. Isha Johansen, and SLFA General Secretary, Mr. Christopher Kamara) have confirmed to FIFA that the SLFA administration, premises, accounts and communication channels are under their control once again,” Fifa said.

Both Johansen and Kamara were forced to step aside to allow investigations on abuse of office and public funds – charges the pair strenuously deny.

The control of the SLFA was handed by the commission to Vice-president Brima Kamara and deputy general secretary Abdul Rahman Swarray.

On 20 September, FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, in a letter to SLFA, warned that the world football governing body would suspend the West African nation if certain measures were not taken by 24th September.

The first team to suffer from the ban will be Sierra Leone’s men’s national team which is due to play against Ghana in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Wednesday next week.

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