Another new Sports Minister sits in the Ministry and his start to solve the football impasse has already failed even without starting. He is unable to see the bigger picture of the SLFA problem and the road map left behind by his predecessor that he wants to use will definitely not bring any positive answers to the football family.
The clubs, under the chairmanship of Idrissa MagoTarawally, know that the problem will not be solved because they are ready, but, the president of the SLFA, Isha Johansen, is not ready.
For the last five years, the premier league has not been played. The clubs that are shareholders of the FA have been depleted and they have nothing; no players, no equipment, no proper management as all these you can find in the Parade league where football is now.
To bring back football to the Siaka Stevens Stadium, the Sports Minister must be decisive, shrewd and ready to take the blame that his predecessor was afraid of. Minister Nyelenkeh has five years on his hands and must sacrifice this first year to restructure the entire game once and for all.
If he must get it right this time, the first thing he must do is to write to FIFA withdraw Sierra Leone from all footballing activities for one year, which means… no funding, no travelling, no nothing for Sierra Leone, so that we all can concentrate in rebuilding the game locally and setting up a good football administration that will run the affairs of the FA smoothly.
Taking this decision will also bring down Isha who is benefitting big time whether football is played or not. The General Secretary of FIFA who also is a woman is making sure that Isha is well protected. With all the ACC cases and other crisis, FIFA is still telling us that Isha is the only recognized president of our FA.
So, because of her current position and link with the FIFA General Secretary, when the next election would be called, they are going to make sure that conditions are placed that will either eliminate the opponents or that will derail the process so it won't take place.
What will be the end story is everything will be postponed and no football will be played but Isha will continue to represent Sierra Leone all over the world making millions of Leones and killing the game locally.
To avert all this nonsense and for us to start a new page, we must withdraw now from FIFA, and put our house in order once and for all.
Last week the Isha Johansen machine has been talking a lot about the WAFU Women’s competition that would be played in Sierra Leone close to the end of this year, but one thing that the minister and Sports Council don’t know is that Isha would be at the helm of this tournament as she is the person that FIFA,
CAF and even the WAFU association will work with to get the tournament off the ground.
It is what Isha and her team would want will definitely prevail because all the funding and other support will come through her, thereby making her very relevant in the game even though Sierra Leon has said she should step aside.
This is the right time that the minister and Sports Council should make their presence felt by making sure that WAFU works directly with them or they take their tournament elsewhere. We have nothing to gain because we do not have the team to compete at the highest women’s football. It would be a big loss to the country and only Isha would profit because she would benefit from the hosting thereby giving her more credibility and reason for her to continue to stay in office illegally.
Now, I heard Rodney Michael and Mohamed Kallon are interested in that position. Both of them are in the game, they have sacrificed a lot for Sierra Leone in terms of football.
But these are two guys that I think should not be competing with each other, but for them to work together for the good of the game.
I wish both of them formed a team that will be able to take over the reins of football from Isha. Now we have change of government, these three that are interested are coming from the same political party, so if politics has to come in then the party must be able to bring them together and make sure one of them is given the position.
Isha, since she became president of the FA, it has been one problem to another. At the beginning, she looks genuine in her claim to improve the game, but as time went on, it became clear that she has other priorities rather than developing the game.
Those who want to prove me right or wrong, let's see who will receive the invite to this month World Cup, if it will be sent to Mazzola or Isha. Of course, Isha will receive it and will be at the World Cup representing Sierra Leone.
In Sierra Leone, the ACC said she should step aside until the court matter is concluded, but FIFA says otherwise. So for us to solve this problem is for us to withdraw from FIFA for the next one year so that nobody will represent us internationally until we put our house in order then we go back to the football world in one piece.
This is the right time to take the bull by the horns and solve this chronic problem that has been eating into our football. If the minister thinks that football will be played soon with the Isha problem in his hands then he is in for another shock.
Mohamed Kallon is now mature and experienced in the game. He has lots of football friends all over the world that can help him restructure the game and put it back on track if the election to be taken place in the near future, which I doubt.
Rodney Michael has wealth of experience in management and he has the financial muscle to help the clubs back to their feet within the shortest possible time.
But if these two men can come together and form a team, I am optimistic that within the shortest possible time, we will see the change and needed in the game.
The time is now for us to do the right thing and bring back our Lions, Blackpool, Edwards, Republicans etc. back to the Stadium.
We will be able to fuse the Parade and the Premier Leagues together by making sure that Parade League becomes the feeder team for the senior teams that will be at the Stadium.
As I close I want to admonish the Sports Minister that if he wants to succeed in getting football back on track, withdraw Sierra Leone from FIFA and CAF now so that the powers of Isha would be broken and we would be able to clean our house properly once and for all.
The money from FIFA will be suspended but when it starts coming it will be of good use to the nation. The time to act Mr. Minister is now!