As the race for the Presidency of the Sierra Leone football Association (SLFA) draws near the dream team headed Dr Foday Bangura (Bangso) and his two proposed Vice Presidents Alhaji Mohamed Nabie and Rodney Micheal have declared their intention to run for the positions in the upcoming election slated for 27-28 June this year
They made this declaration at a well attended meeting in the Northern Region headquarter town of Makeni at the Makeni town hall where all the five districts in the north were represented. During the meeting campaign manager for the dream team Idrissa Tarawally (Mago) said that the game of football has dropped and that is why they have come to visit the northern region because this time around they need to have a positive change in the running of football in this country.
He stated that football was being played all over the country before the Nahim Khadi executive came into power about four years ago. Currently he lamented “there is no structure in the game which is very bad for the game to develop since they are accountable to stakeholders.”
Rodney Micheal who is vying for Vice President explained the aims and objectives of the dream team saying that he feels very good to return back to the province after a short stay in Freetown.
He disclosed that the dream team has a policy which is to decentralize the game and to ensure that all the 15 sub-committees’ work effectively as currently only one committee is working out of the 15 sub-committee’s under the SLFA.
He promised that the dream team, will bring sanity to the game, financial transparency and accountability to stakeholders which has been lost over the years.
Micheal further promised that they will protect the districts and the clubs and they are going to equip the region by organizing seminars with some of their personnel going for further studies to increase their knowledge on different parts of the game.
When Dr Foday Bangura the presidential candidate took the podium he stated that he always feels happy when he goes to Makeni to talk about football as his name Foday Bangso was got through playing football in Makeni. He recalled when he started his football career at the Lady of Fatima where he was vice captain for the senior team.
He maintained that he is still not disappointed as the people of the north never voted for him in the last election. Foday Bangso says he is placing his faith in God and that when it is God’s time nobody will stop him. He stated “I am going to hold it with sincerity to change the course of football in this country.”
He said he owes a lot to football and as a footballer he wants to give back to football at all cost. Bangso said he feels honoured and proud of himself and others and he has his two vice presidents and they all speak the same language and always discuss the issues.
He disclosed that the present executive of the Sierra Leone Football Association is not performing as they do not have such people and he is very happy to have such people around him this time around to win the election.
He recalled that four years ago he presented his manifesto which he believed was the first manifesto for football in this country and he gave credit to his campaign manager at the time which was Bai Kabia. He disclosed that they put the document together and analysed the situation that will make football grow in the country.
He recalled that he told them about the lapses in the administration that have not changed, “the administration of football in this country has a lot of problem which is one of the things we need to take care of … we are discuss it very seriously” he said.
He stated that “this time around if God make us win and if we fail that means we have a problem. I said that the last time when we lost the election but people did not believe what I was saying. When you know his capability you know his output it is easy to asses if he can deliver or not.”
“The administration was faulty the financial management of course is down the drainage it is the first time in the history of football that an FA has been indicted by anti corruption – which is a big blow to the executive.”
“But if I win this time around I want to give a different type of image to football in this country. If you are behind someone, that individual has to have respect for himself, let him give the image that will represent this country, image that the stakeholders will be proud of and will be accountable to them. The image that will bring more respect to this country. These are the kind of Presidents you the stakeholders must look out for – you have made your mistake and this time you are ready to correct it at all cost.”
Dr Bangura said that four years back he had highlighted all the lapses in football and they still exist and some of them are even worst. “When we review the manifesto some more lapses have to be added to it.”
We have a problem that is making football not to grow he said. This he maintained is “the representation of Sierra Leone in international organisations of football. If we don’t have people to represent us in WAFU, CAF, FIFA our football will never grow. We need people to represent us in those associations to represent our interest … we have lots of them who have played football and who have personality who can represent us in those organisations and they will explain our case well to the international community.”
He stated further that “we need to train more people you cannot have one administrator in football and we have four regions that is impossible football will never grow.”
Dr Bangso explained further that for example if the Secretary General of the association is sick it is a big problem but if you have trained a lot of people that will not be a problem.” He also cited an other example that people are going as match commissioner without training for it “they are misrepresenting this country” he lamented.
He mentioned that “accountability in managing funds for football is very very important for the achievement that we should make in football. The organisation of technical programmes is also faulty and we need to have a well organised premier league that is very competitive.”
“The present executive of SLFA should not be running to organised leagues now when election is just round the corner … what were they doing all the time” he asked. “In our own administration we are going to ask the region to formulate their own programs and if they want to run a league let us know what kind of league they want to run and we meet at a meeting and present your budget and we approve of it.”
Other stakeholders in the game also made statements. Chernor Musa of Kallon FC who represented the Western area said that they need a change this time around so the stakeholders need to think wisely before voting this time around. Hon. David Soriba who represented the Eastern Region said they are very happy without the kind of welcome they have received and they are given their support to the dream team and this present SLFA executive must go as they have failed to do what they have promised. The Southern Region representative Knox Koroma in his own statement said that they in the Southern Region have vowed to support the dream team. They have taken their decision and nothing can stop them.
The Chairman of Hero Foundation Umaru Din-Sesay spoke on behalf of the foundation he said they the hero’s will not sit down this time to see the game of football going to the drains that is why they have decided to take the front seat as they want to see a positive change in the game of football.
He said this particular election will break or make the game so stakeholders need to think wisely before voting so that they will not make the mistake they made the last time.