Sierra Leone Sports: FIFA's match-fixing investigation team to arrive Nov.4
FIFA's four-man investigation unit probing in match-fixing in Freetown on Sunday November 4, 2018. The panel is due to cause the disruptments by some elements determined to thwart the investigations. "FIFA has established an independent investigation committee to conduct an investigation into allegations of match-fixing within football in the Sierra Leone general and, in particular, match-fixing within the Sierra Leone FA," said a FIFA statement. "The duties of the independent committee are to investigate the allegations and provide a comprehensive report to the FIFA Members Associations Committee to allow for an informed decision on the matter." The match-fixing inquiry includes a World Cup qualifier between Sierra Leone and South Africa in 2008 that ended in a goalless draw. Since 2014, eleven officials and four players have been suspended by Sierra Leone's FA pending investigation, with all having denied the wrongdoing. According to a letter signed by FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, "the four-man FIFA unit headed by Jean-Samuel Leuba, a lawyer. He is joined by Michael Emde, Peter Limacher and Paul Scotney, a former detective who has been investigating corruption in sport. FIFA will consider lifting Sierra Leone's suspension from international football After the FA's president Isha Johansen concludes in court. "FIFA will wait for the completion of the trial before further measures can be considered, including the lifting of the suspension, if deemed appropriate," said a FIFA statement. The alleged corruption charges against Johansen were drastically reduced in court from ten to three, and from four to three for Kamara. The Sierra Leone government sent a delegation, including Vice-President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, Attorney General and Minister of Justice Priscilla Schwartz and Lansana Gberie, Sierra Leone's Ambassador to Switzerland to FIFA. Sierra Leone's Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ghana, which were set to be played between 11-14 October, were cancelled and will not be rescheduled because of the suspension. The match-fixing investigation of 15 players and officials who have been indefinitely suspended since 2014, the conduct of integrity tests on elected officials and a roadmap that will lead to the election of the new SLFA executive committee. The 15 suspended people include 4 footballers and 11 officers who were suspended in 2014 by both the Sports Ministry and the Football Association for alleged match-fixing and in March 2015 the suspension was lifted by the National Sports Council and the Ministry of Sports. Most of the alleged match-fixers including former Leone Stars Captain Ibrahim Obreh Kargbo said they are innocent and that particular match is one of the best he played for the country and because of the result South Africa could not qualify for the Africa Nation Cup . FIFA revealed that the Sierra Leone Inquiry Group will conduct the match-fixing investigation from 4th to 9th November 2018, with the government of Sierra Leone to appoint its new representative to the Task Force.
By Bernard Turay
Monday November 05, 2018.