A Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) congress due to take place Friday has been suspended pending “integrity” checks related to match-fixing allegations against the national side, as the nation’s football crisis deepens.
Fifteen Sierra Leonean players and officials were suspended in July 2014 over suspect matches including a 2010 World Cup qualifier against South Africa, notably implicating former Leone Stars captain Ibrahim Kargbo.
A Sierra Leonean-Lebanese football administrator, Rodney Michael, is also accused of links to sports betting company Mercury International, a major financier of sports activities in Sierra Leone.
FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura wrote a letter to the SLFA dated July 7 saying the meeting should be postponed “until further notice” due to pending “integrity checks” on all current or potential members of the executive committee.
Sports Minister Ahmed Khanou said he was “disappointed” by FIFA’s decision, adding it was “our role to supervise and regulate the activities of sporting associations.”
Khanou said his ministry was “trying to regulate the flow of money between the Sierra Leone Football Association and FIFA,” but said FIFA would not disclose where funds sent to the SLFA went.