The Secretary General of the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) Jerome Valcke has written a letter to the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) in reply to the SLFAs letter for reassessment of the National stadium ban.
Dated 7th April the FIFA letter acknowledged receipt of the SLFAs communications dated 31st March and 4th April 2008 respectively in reply to the banning of the National Stadium which was issued in a letter dated 19th March.
FIFA noted “with satisfaction that the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has initiated an urgent plan and subsequent funding in order to fulfil the recommendations issued by FIFA on the occasion of the previous stadium inspection in 2006 and 2007.”
No date was given for the final inspection of the stadium given the promises that the SLFA given though the letter indicated that FIFA will inform the SLFA “of the final inspection visit of the National Stadium in Freetown in due course,” adding “but we can anticipate to you that it will take place in the very first days of May 2008.”
The FIFA letter however drew attention to the fact that “a couple of important items are missing from your submitted guarantees to fulfill FIFA’s recommendation, namely; to strengthen or re-edify the fences and gates,” pointing out that “the access from outside the stadium has to be rebuilt and the exiting tribute exits that lead inside the stadium have to be closed.”
The letter urged the SLFA to “please amend your list accordingly and coordinate the inclusion of these points into your work schedule.”
In the meantime the letter instructed the SLFA “to keep working on an alternative neutral venue by Friday 18 April 2008” adding “Should the required works eventually not comply with the minimum standards established in the FIFA recommendations.”
The letter pointed out that “the stadium in Banjul is also pending a final inspection in May and thus cannot be proposed as an alternative at this stage.”