With barely two days to the very crucial election of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) the battle lines seem to have been drawn as to who will lead the SLFA for the next four years.
Many stakeholders’ are adopting a wait and see attitude.
About 47 delegates decided the fate of the association in the last four years with some of the delegates voting for the candidate of their choice for different reason.
The last election had three contestants. After the first rounds it was left with two candidates to decide as none of the candidates had a two thirds majority. In the second rounds only two candidates were left and it became a straight fight which was eventually won by Nahim Kadi.
The same two candidates are going back this time around in a straight fight which has to be decided by the stakeholders again.
Some of the stakeholders this time around have their integrity to protect compared to the last group of stakeholders who could not contribute anything to congress except to sit down and look forward to receiving money. This may be why some clubs have decided to conduct internal elections and remove some of the past stakeholders.
When you talk about stakeholders in sports in Sierra Leone they should be the people who are supposed to make the difference but it is the opposite in most of the sporting disciplines.
This is why sports in Sierra Leone has not been developing because our stakeholders take decisions and within the space of two to three days they start to regret the decision they have taken. These stakeholders must make sure that they examine their minds very well before taking any decision which will determine whether the game improves and not to destroy the game all cost.
Now most of the stakeholders are expected to have started arriving in Freetown for the congress. The two candidates have presented their manifestoes to the stakeholders to see who has the better plans for the development of the game and it is left with the stakeholders to think and assess both candidates as to who is fit for the job.
In the manifesto presented by the Dream team which is headed by Dr Foday Bangura they have detailed proposals for a direct change set out under the following heads Football, Commercialization, Finances, Administration and the National Teams. All goes with an action plan.
Under the football development the manifesto reads, the development of football can only be achieved with a cogent and well defined programme, the building up of fundamental/basic structures in terms of administrative, financial and technical management and a strong discipline and visionary leadership.
Under Commercialization the manifesto said “enormous benefits have flowed to the world game from television and sponsorship over the last decades and we are yet to have little of this lucrative pie to feast on.”
“Football is being regarded as an industry which encourages commercial houses and individuals to invest in because of the passion and publicity it generates.”
Under finances “as leaders of SLFA we will insist on complete transparency regarding the association income and expenditure and rigorous control of the latter in order to ensure value for money.”
Under administration “the Secretariat is undoubtedly the nerve centre or ‘power house’ of the football association in terms of administration. It must therefore have the necessary capacity to initiate programmes, execute directives, support all activities of the football association and provide the necessary linkages to members, the public and the world at large.”
Under National teams the manifesto says “the success of our national teams can only be realized through a well structured and constructive programme thoroughly catered for with competent and fully (trained) personnel managing these affairs.”
On the other hand Nahim Kadi presented his manifesto and achievements since 2004 which reads “the four years have swiftly passed off and the association continues to exist – the time to re-elect a new leader to preside over the affairs for another four years term is in your hands.”
Cataloguing his achievements he said “rejuvenate football (meaning) football is now played all over the country including Bonthe, Kabala, Kailahun and Tongo(Gem Stars) All these clubs were not previously participating actively in our national league competitions. There was no promotion and relegation of clubs for the past eight years in our leagues before my assumption of office. In CAF Club competition Sierra Leone clubs have been represented at international club competition in the likes of Mighty Blackpool FC and East End Lions-2005-2006 then Port Authority and FC Kallon -2006-2007 a situation that was non-existence for ten years due to the instability in the country.”
He also mentioned the provision of Buses and sponsorship as part of his achievements and also attracting the services of a Sierra Leonean coach Leroy Rosenoir. He promised to build on this foundation.
These were parts of the manifesto presented by the two presidential candidates it is now left to the stakeholders to decide.