Wow the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) is gearing up to make it to South Africa 2010 after they would have won their qualifying group, but they need Le1.7 billion. What a pity.
But I would want to ask Nahim Kadi, whether Leone Stars are participating or competing. As for me they are participating as usual, to make up the numbers and end up at the bottom after they would have enjoyed themselves from the gate-takings for the home matches.
Sierra Leoneans really want to see their national team in the World Cup and Nations Cup and also for them to do well, but do these bunch of officials and players can perform such a feat to bring smiles to the face of its citizens? I think the answer is no.
The past two years they played eight matches winning one, drew two and the pathetic side is scoring two goals. What a record.
Now they want Le1.7 billion to compete for two tournaments, that if successful will see them in the 2010 Nations Cup and World Cup.
But the point I want to make is that for decades past, the government has been wasting tax payer’s money on people purporting to be sports administrators and footballers without any benefit.
Logically speaking, Leone Stars should defeat Guinea Bissau and they did it because if you look at the FIFA ranking for Africa, you will see Sierra Leone ranked at 45 and Bissau at 48.
But now we are in the qualifying group and all three teams they will be playing against are ranked way above them: Nigeria ranked first, South Africa 17 and Equatorial Guinea at 19.
This ranking done by FIFA depicts the performances of countries over the years and one needs to look at the ranking and tell how a country will end up in a tournament.
Sierra Leone is ranked at 45 out of 52 countries in Africa and 159 out of 200 with countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Mauritius etc. and SLFA thinks they will make it to Angola and South Africa. These people are jokers.
Football is one of the biggest industries in the world that is profitable and successful. But this bunch back home thinks football is just for pasttime, get some fun and fill their pockets.
SLFA is the only football association in the world that relies on government for 100 percent support. Do these people think that Guinea and other countries that made it to the Nations Cup were so dependent? No.
Most of these associations know how football is played and they make sure that when asking for funds from their government, they too have enough to augment the team.
SLFA has never pursued the idea of going out to get sponsorship deals from international manufacturing companies like Adidas, Nike, Puma, Coca cola, Carlsberg, Heineken, etc. that will yield thousands of dollars. Also locally try to negotiate with as many reputable companies as possible to get them on board.
But how can they attract such when their performance in and out of the pitch is nothing good to write home about.
When you look at the bunch administering football, then you understand why football in Sierra Leone is nothing to think of.
They are now telling government we want this amount to take part in this competition just to waste taxpayers’ money.
Please Mr minister, before thinking of dishing out that money to those people, make sure all those striking workers have been paid and ensure that you have fully prepared to meet the MDGs for 2015.
You know why, they are just going to waste that money by finishing bottom of the group. It had happened Mr minister and it will happen again. So we will call it the Devil’s Alternative, if I can quote from Frederick Forsyth’s.
I have said it before that football is divided into three parts: administration, technical and medical. The most important part is the administration, if you can’t administer football well, then you are doomed to fail woefully.
The countries that have all these sections in place are finding it difficult to succeed, let alone SLFA. When you look at those in administrative positions from the president right down you know they are just filling their pockets at the detriment of the tax payers and football loving fans.
Until football becomes an industry, it will never succeed in Sierra Leone, they will just be playing it for fun.
Where are the players to take us to South Africa? Where is the coach? Where is the administration and where is the money?
Is Le1.7 billion enough to take us to South Africa 2010? This money is just for air tickets, what about allowances and match bonuses with other expenses. This just shows how inept the administration is.
Well at least the SLFA officials will have another opportunity to fly around Africa and do shopping for their wives and girlfriends and come back with stories of bad refereeing and pitches.
May God help Sierra Leone, as nothing seems to be improving. Benin, The Gambia, Namibia, Liberia are all ahead of Sierra Leone in terms of football. What a pity.
My advice to the minister: tell this bunch of football officials that the government is giving them the money because the people of Sierra Leone wants to see some more African players and also for FIFA not to suspend Sierra Leone, but you fully aware that they will not qualify.
Maybe that will spur them a bit not to be at the bottom of the group.
All over the world countries are developing their sporting skills trying to dominate in one discipline, but not Sierra Leone. We have no sporting discipline that we can say we are doing well in. I’m sure the country is not cursed but only for those managing these disciplines to change their attitudes.
One breakthrough can change the entire face of the game. The current football league is one big mess that will not produce quality players.
It is because of the league that Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Senegal, Egypt etc. are doing well. The players they export are of quality and they can compete for places in European teams with South Americans and Europeans.
Surfing the internet, or watching TV, it will take you weeks to read or see one player from Sierra Leone.
I want Nahim Kadi to download this in his brain that unless he thinks of playing football for profit and success, he will never see Sierra Leone in any Nations Cup or World Cup tournament until he departs the scene.
By Austin Thomas