FIFA may lift ban on Sierra Leone football after FA president Isha Johansen acquitted of corruption charges
London, May 27, 2019 (AltAfrica)-Sierra Leone Football Association President Isha Johansen and FA Secretary General, Chris Kamara are both able to remain in their respective positions following an acquittal of all counts of corruption by a court in Freetown.
Her acquittal, along with SLFA General Secretary Christopher Kamara, paves the way for the lifting of a ban from global football.
The two top SLFA officials were surrounded by their jubilant supporters as they left the court.
Both were standing standing trial on three counts of corruption brought by the Sierra Leone Anti Corruption Commission (ACC)
FIFA banned Sierra Leone in October 2018 because of what it said was “third party interference in the running of the Sierra Leone Football Association”.
The government-backed Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) accused Johansen and Kamara of misappropriating US$50,000 given to SLFA by Caf for covering of cost for the conduct of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Tests on 30 players of the Sierra Leone under-17 team in 2014 and dishonestly appropriated US$ 5,000 to repay a loan to the husband of Isha, Arne Johansen.
The anti-graft agency demanded the pair vacate their posts. The ACC then installed vice-president Brima Mazola Kamara and Assistant Secretary-General Abdul Rahman Swarray to replace Johnansen and Chris Kamara.
But FIFA said that it would only recognize Johansen as the SLFA president and subsequently suspended Sierra Leone. FIFA said it would wait for the case to be completed before considering further action, including the possibility of reinstating Sierra Leone.
The ACC filed ten corruption charges against the pair but charges against Johansen were drastically reduced from ten counts to four. Kamara saw his charges reduced to three.
Johansen and Chris Kamara have always maintained they did nothing wrong.