Sierra Leone To Play Next Match Behind Closed Doors

 

Sierra Leone were ordered by FIFA on Wednesday to play their next home match behind closed doors following disturbances at the World Cup eliminator against Liberia last month.

FIFA cited a number of incidents including “invasion of the field of play, throwing of objects, lack of order or discipline observed in or around the stadium” as they also imposed a fine of 50,000 Swiss francs (45,700 euros).

Liberia, who won the tie 3-2 on aggregate to advance to the second round of African qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, complained that their team had been attacked by Sierra Leone supporters and prevented from training.

Peter Butler’s side are one of 40 that will be drawn into 10 groups of four with qualifying set to continue in 2020.

Sierra Leone Fighting To Rescue Survivors Of Building Collapse

 

Rescue personnel is seen at the scene of a buiding collapse in Bo on September 26, 2019. STRINGER / AFP
Rescue personnel is seen at the scene of a buiding collapse in Bo on September 26, 2019.
STRINGER / AFP

 

 

Rescue teams at a city in southern Sierra Leone struggled Thursday to reach labourers buried under a building that collapsed as they were working on it, rescue services said.

A preliminary toll given by the local hospital said more than a dozen had been injured, but there were fears the final figure would be far higher.

The three-storey building crashed down on Wednesday in Bo, the country’s second largest city, located about 250 kilometres (155 miles) from the capital Freetown.

More than 80 people were scheduled for work on the site at the time, but how many lay in the rubble was unclear, an official at the disaster management department told AFP by phone.

There had also been women street hawkers at the site.

“We have received over a dozen people with injuries,” Dr. Peter Samai, the medical officer at the Bo Government Hospital, said.

“Ten of the survivors have severe injuries.”

The building was being put up close to a Ministry of Agriculture office on the Bo-Taiama Highway where several government offices are located.

The collapse happened as workers were concreting the last floor.

Police cordoned off the site as rescue teams looked for survivors, an eyewitness said.

“We are frantically working… with machinery, shovels and hands,” local mayor Harold Tucker said.

“We are working round the clock to rescue people trapped but it’s unlikely they will survive.”

The West African state is one of the poorest in the world, ranking 184th out of 189 countries in the 2018 UN Human Development Index.

AFP

AFCON 2021: Nigeria To Face Benin, Sierra Leone, Lesotho In Qualifiers

Team Nigeria: Giuseppe CACACE / AFP

 

Nigeria have been handed a relatively easy opponents in the qualifiers for 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

According to the draw released by the organizers, the three-time African champions will play in Group L with Benin Republic, Sierra Leone and Lesotho.

The Super Eagles will begin their campaign for a place in the continental tournament on November 11.

The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations will be held in Cameroun from June 15 to July 23.

See the full draws below.

Preliminary Round

Liberia v Chad

South Sudan v Seychelles

Mauritius v Sao Tome e Principe

Djibouti v Gambia

First, second legs: Oct 7-15

Group A

Mali, Guinea, Namibia, Liberia/Chad

Group B

Burkina Faso, Uganda, Malawi, South Sudan/Seychelles

Group C

Ghana, South Africa, Sudan, Mauritius/Sao Tome

Group D

Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Angola, Djibouti/Gambia

Group E

Morocco, Mauritania, Central African Republic, Burundi

Group F

Cameroon (hosts), Cape Verde, Mozambique, Rwanda

Group G

Egypt, Kenya, Togo, Comoros

Group H

Algeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana

Group I

Senegal, Congo Brazzaville, Guinea-Bissau, eSwatini (formerly Swaziland)

Group J

Tunisia, Libya, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea

Group K

Ivory Coast, Niger, Madagascar, Ethiopia

Group L

Nigeria, Benin, Sierra Leone, Lesotho

Matchdays: Nov 11-19 (two rounds), Aug 31-Sept 8 2020 (two rounds), Oct 5-13, Nov 9-17

Note: winners and runners-up qualify from each group except F, where Cameroon automatically qualify as hosts with highest placed of other three teams

Did not enter: Eritrea, Somalia

Sierra Leone Places One-Month Ban On Industrial Fishing

 

Sierra Leone has banned industrial fishing in its territorial waters for a month from Monday in a move to try to shore up stocks that were applauded by environmental activists.

The government also decreed an April 1-30 halt to exports by major fishing companies “to protect our fish stock from depletion”, said a statement from the fisheries ministry.

“All industrial fishing companies should stock their fish in cold rooms … during the period of closure,” Minister of Fisheries Emma Kowa Jalloh told AFP.

The West African states of Mauritania, Senega, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea and Sierra Leone lost about $2.3 billion (more than 2.1 billion euros) a year from 2010 to 2016 due to illegal and undeclared fishing, according to the Greenpeace environmental group.

Sierra Leone National Fishermen Consortium chairman Alpha Sheku Kamara accused China and Korea of destroying stocks.

“We are happy that the government has declared fishing period closure after series of complaints,” he told AFP at the bustling Tombo fishing community outside the capital Freetown.

“Industrial fishing boats from China and Korea are destroying our nets and also depleting the fish stock,” he said.

“We are calling on the government to effectively enforce the ban with surveillance.”

Many coastal communities in Sierra Leone depend on fishing for food and their livelihood, said Steve Trent, executive director at Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF).

“We applaud the ban but the long answer is for legal, equitable and sustainable fishing industry management to be introduced.”

“We are working towards helping Sierra Leone with surveillance boats and regulatory framework for sustainable fishing methods,” Trent said.

“Illegal fishing accounts for about 30 per cent of catches by industrial foreign fleets in Sierra Leone, according to the 2017 Sea Around Us project at the University of British Columbia, the University of California at Berkeley and five other organisations.

It found that in the past decade industrial foreign vessels have increased illegal activities off Sierra Leone either on their own or by enticing small-scale fishers into illicit partnerships.

Reduced monitoring and surveillance resulting from the withdrawal of development aid encouraged unlicensed operations, researchers said, noting an estimated 42,000 tonnes caught by illegal fishing in 2015.

A representative of a large Chinese fishing company in Sierra Leone declined to comment to AFP.

AFP

Sierra Leone Disqualified From 2019 AFCON

 

Sierra Leone have been disqualified from the 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifying competition, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said on Monday.

Football’s world governing body FIFA had suspended the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) in October due to “government interference”.

CAF’s decision means Kenya and Ghana are assured of first and second place in Sierra Leone’s Group F and have therefore booked their place in next year’s finals.

“Sierra Leone is disqualified from the qualifiers and all its matches are annulled,” CAF said in a statement.

The row stems from the decision of Sierra Leone’s anti-corruption commission to sack SLFA president Isha Johansen and general secretary Christopher Kamara during an ongoing probe into corruption and mismanagement.

In October, CAF cancelled two matches pitting SierraLeone against Ghana due to the dispute between Freetown and FIFA.

The 2019 finals have been plunged into uncertainty chaos after CAF last week stripped Cameroon of the right to host the tournament, citing delays caused by infrastructure work.

CAF The organisation has yet to determine the new host country but said it would reach a decision by the end of the year.

AFP

CAF Disqualifies Sierra Leone From African Nations Cup

File Photo

 

Sierra Leone have been disqualified from the 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifying competition, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said on Monday.

Football’s world governing body FIFA had suspended the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) in October due to “government interference”.

CAF’s decision means Kenya and Ghana are assured of first and second place in Sierra Leone’s Group F and have therefore booked their place in next year’s finals.

“Sierra Leone is disqualified from the qualifiers and all its matches are annulled,” CAF said in a statement.

The row stems from the decision of Sierra Leone’s anti-corruption commission to sack SLFA president Isha Johansen and general secretary Christopher Kamara during an ongoing probe into corruption and mismanagement.

In October, CAF cancelled two matches pitting Sierra Leone against Ghana due to the dispute between Freetown and FIFA.

The 2019 finals have been plunged into uncertainty chaos after CAF last week stripped Cameroon of the right to host the tournament, citing delays caused by infrastructure work.

CAF The organisation has yet to determine the new host country but said it would reach a decision by the end of the year.

AFP

CAF Cancels Sierra Leone’s African Cup Ties Against Ghana

File Photo

 

Sierra Leone’s African Cup of Nations qualifiers against Ghana this week have been scrapped owing to the nation’s unresolved row with FIFA, the Confederation of African Football said Wednesday.

Sierra Leone was suspended by FIFA over government interference in football and was given a deadline of 1700 GMT on Tuesday by world football’s governing body to come up with guarantees that it had resolved the issue.

“Qualifier matches Ghana vs Sierra Leone & Sierra Leone vs Ghana on the 11th and 14th of October respectively have been cancelled…” CAF said in a tweet.

It added that the Sierra Leone Football Association had failed to supply the guarantees requested by FIFA to allow the suspension to be lifted.

The West African nation was rocked last week when FIFA suspended it for government interference.

The bustup is rooted in a move by the country’s anti-corruption commission to sack SLFA president Isha Johansen and general secretary Christopher Kamara during an ongoing probe into corruption and mismanagement.

FIFA had demanded that the pair be reinstated when it announced the suspension on October 5.

AFP

Sierra Leone Files Appeal Against FIFA Suspension

 

 

Amos Adamu Faces Two-Year FIFA Ban

 

Sierra Leone has appealed against its suspension by world football’s top body on charges of government interference.

After a crisis meeting on Monday with the government, the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) sent a letter to FIFA asking it to lift the suspension so that the country can play Ghana in looming qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations.

It said it would dispatch a delegation to FIFA headquarters in Zurich for talks.

The West African nation was rocked last week when FIFA suspended it for government interference.

The bustup is rooted in a move by the country’s anti-corruption commission to sack SLFA president Isha Johansen and general secretary Christopher Kamara during an ongoing probe into corruption and mismanagement.

The meeting on Monday took place in State House, the official residence of President Julius Maada Bio, in the capital Freetown, ministers said.

“(The) the government met with Isha and (her) secretary general so as to commence the mediation process for the lifting of the FIFA ban,” Sports Minister Ibrahim Nyelenkeh told AFP.

“We want FIFA to reverse the suspension to enable us (to) participate in a CAF pending game with Ghana this month,” he said.

“We are very hopeful that FIFA will lift the suspension after our mediation process.”

 Reinstated?

The letter to FIFA, seen by AFP, carried the SLFA letterhead and was signed by Johansen, although it was unclear whether she had been reinstated to her job.

On September 20, her deputy, Brima Mazola Kamara, had said that he had replaced her.

In addition, Nyelenkeh said that both Johansen and Kamara will be part of the delegation heading to Zurich.

Johansen and Kamara were arrested in September 2016 over alleged corruption offenses.

A year later, they were indicted by the anti-graft agency on six counts of abuse of office and corruption. They deny any wrongdoing.

“I want us to resolve all outstanding issues before going to FIFA in Zurich or else it will be difficult to lift the suspension,” Johansen said after the meeting.

Sierra Leone plays away to Ghana on Thursday, with the return match next Monday.

The crisis within Sierra Leone football has been rumbling on for years.

Fifteen Sierra Leonean players and officials were suspended in July 2014 over suspect matches including a 2010 World Cup qualifier against South Africa.

However, the scandal has taken on the dimension of a political emergency in the light of the showdown with FIFA, which threatens Sierra Leone’s participation in the Cup of Nations.

Bio, the opposition challenger, narrowly won a hotly-contested presidential election in March.

“We want to organize a high-level delegation to FIFA with all critical football stakeholders involved,” Chief Minister David Francis, the country’s top minister, told reporters.

“As a new government we inherited the football problem,” he said and made a reference to FIFA’s own scandal-ridden recent past.

“We are also aware that  FIFA too has been embroiled in a series of corruption allegations,” he said.

AFP

Teen Killed As Violence Hits Sierra Leone By-Election

 

Violent clashes erupted during a local by-election in Sierra Leone leaving a teenager dead and prompting the cancellation of the ballot, police and election officials said Sunday. 

The incident occurred on Saturday at a polling station in a school in the northern Kambia district, where a ballot box was destroyed, sparking an altercation between supporters of the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and the opposition All Peoples Congress.

But the confrontation quickly turned violent with a teenager killed in the clashes, police told AFP.

“The intensity of the clashes resulted in the death of a boy,” a police source said.

Polling station staff immediately suspended the ballot but were prevented from leaving for three hours until they were rescued by the army with help from police, a commission statement said.

It was not clear what sparked the confrontation, but an APC spokesman expressed anger over the cancellation of the ballot.

Sierra Leone, which was battered by civil war between 1991-2002, is sharply divided along regional lines that overlap with ethnicity.

The APC broadly relies on the Temne and Limba people in its northern strongholds, while the SLPP is more popular in the south with the Mende ethnic group.

One of the world’s poorest nations despite huge mineral and diamond deposits, Sierra Leone is recovering gradually from war and disease. Its economy remains fragile, with corruption widespread in the former British colony.

Sierra Leone Hits Back At FIFA Over Ban Threat

Fifa, World Cup Draw

 

Sierra Leone’s Sports Minister has reacted angrily to a threat by FIFA to ban or suspend the country for suspending the nation’s two top football officials in a corruption probe.

“We will not accept or tolerate any threat from FIFA,” minister Ibrahim Nyelenkeh told AFP in Freetown on Monday.

The global association, he insisted, had “no right or authority to suspend or ban Sierra Leone.”

The minister said it was the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission (AAC), not the government, which had asked Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) President Isha Johansen and Secretary General Christopher Kamara to step down pending an investigation into alleged misuse of donor and state funds.

“We do not interfere into the operations of football administrators as a sports ministry,” he insisted, and said the government “did not participate” in a raid on the SLFA.

The ministry, Nyelenkeh added, has already recognised the new SLFA President Brima Mazola Kamara and secretary general Abdul Rahman Swarray.

According to Sierra Leone law, any public official under investigation must step aside pending the outcome.

A FIFA letter seen by AFP insisted that member associations, including the SLFA, “are obliged to manage their affairs independently and without undue influence from any third party.”

It added: “Failure to meet these obligations may lead to sanctions as provided for in the FIFA status even if the third-party influence was not the fault of the member association concerned.”

Recent developments, the letter stated, may constitute an undue interference in the affairs of the SLFA and would, therefore, have to be brought to the attention of the Bureau of the FIFA Council for consideration of sanctions including the immediate suspension of the SLFA.”

AFP

Nigeria Beat Sierra Leone To Win ICC U-19 Division 2 Qualifier Tournament

 

 

Nigeria defeated Sierra Leone by 137 runs to dominate African division two of the ICC under 19 World Cup qualifier tournament in Potchefstroom, South Africa.

The opening partnership of 148 runs between Olaleye Elijah and Samuel Mba, gave Nigeria a dream start.

The opening batsman struck a majestic 110, as he and Samuel Mba 62 put on 148 for the first wicket, and pulled his side clear in the final.

That alliance was enough to put Nigeria out of sight, as Sierra Leone were overwhelmed by the opening stand, which lasted 34.1 overs.

Beyond that opening partnership, only Segun Ogundipe made a meaningful contribution, as Nigeria’s total petered out to 242 for nine, assisted by 21 extras.

In response, Sierra Leone served up their worst batting performance of the tournament. They were bundled out for just 105, with skipper George Ngegba fighting a lone battle with 31.

Not for the first time, Peter Aho was the surgeon for Nigeria, with another five wicket haul, which cut the chase in the bud. The damage inflicted on the middle-order was terminal, and Nigeria ran out 137 run winners.

Aho took the final wicket, fittingly, to spark wild celebrations from the strongest team in the competition. For their part, Sierra Leone could console themselves with a place in the first division, and a chance to go again for a place in the 2020 tournament proper.

In the battle for the last qualifying spot in Division 1, Tanzania got the better of Mozambique, posting a testing 215 all out. At 89 for five, they had to depend on their middle-order to make the play, and 15 year-old Dhrumit Mehta and Kartik Sayal stepped up.

Mehta weighed in with 37, while Sayal’s 45 was vital in holding the whole thing together. Their 79-run alliance gave their bowlers something to work with, and that was all they needed.

Vieira Tembo struck a belligerent 90 for Mozambique, but his was a lone hand, as his mates fell all around him. Mozambique, plucky throughout the tournament, only scored 140, with Tembo the penultimate wicket to fall.

Tanzania had greater discipline with the ball, which was the difference.

Mozambique gave away 36 extras, while Tanzania were miserly with nine, in just over 40 overs of endeavour. Mehta completed a fine day’s work by snaffling three for 38, to add to his crucial contribution with bat.

Fresh Ebola Outbreak Discovered In Sierra Leone

 

A new Ebola virus has been found in bats in Sierra Leone, two years after the end of an outbreak that killed over 11,000 across West Africa, the government said on Thursday.

It is not yet known whether the new Bombali species of the virus — which researchers say could be transmitted to humans — can develop into the deadly Ebola disease.

“At this time, it is not yet known if the Bombali Ebola virus has been transmitted to people or if it causes disease in people but it has the potential to infect human cells,” Amara Jambai, a senior ministry of health official, told AFP.

“This is early stages of the findings,” Jambai added, calling on the public to remain calm while awaiting further research.

A health ministry spokesman and a researcher who worked on the discovery confirmed the findings to AFP.

Researchers who found the new virus in the northern Bombali region are now working with the Sierra Leone government to determine whether any humans were infected.

“As precautionary measures, people should refrain from eating bats,” Harold Thomas, health ministry spokesman told AFP.

The worst-ever Ebola outbreak started in December 2013 in southern Guinea before spreading to two neighbouring west African countries, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The West African outbreak was caused by the Zaire species, which has historically been the most deadly in humans since it was first identified in 1976.

That outbreak killed more than 11,300 people out of nearly 29,000 registered cases, according to World Health Organization estimates.

The WHO declared the epidemic over in January this year, but this was followed by flare-ups in all three countries.

AFP