President Koroma’s warning to football officials

President Ernest Bai Koroma has given Sierra Leone’s football guardians until next month (March) to resolve their differences.

He waded into the country’s football feud by lashing out against “unproductive squabbles in football”.

The president’s dramatic intervention comes a little over one month after Fifa Secretary General Fatma Samoura visited Freetown and announced a roadmap designed to bring peace between Sierra Leone’s warring football factions.

Sierra Leone FA (SLFA) president Isha Johansen is locked in a bitter fight with various club administrators, particularly over her organisational reforms and conveying of the SLFA congress.

The SLFA has also not been able to organise a league since last year and a breakaway league organised by nine out of 14 Premier League clubs is ongoing.

President Koroma’s comments came during a popular annual football competition carrying his name in his birth place of Makeni.

“For some time, I’ve been trying to solve the issues of egos and selfish interests in our country’s football. “It should not stop us from looking at the bigger picture which is to promote our talented young men and women. “I hope the impasse will come to an end very soon, he said.”

President Koroma did not say what he would do if nothing has changed by March. However, he warned that no one will be protected by Fifa – a clear reference to Fifa’s stance that government should not interfere in football matters.

The world governing body has made no secret of its backing for Johansen, the only female football president in Africa.