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Sierra Leone regional FA calls off congres

By Mohamed Jaward Nyallay

Uncertainty over the Western Area Football Association congress continues as it was once again postponed.  Last Saturday, over 30 delegates and observers were packed in the Atlantic Hall in Freetown when the Director of Sports, Ibrahim Bangura called off the congress.

This is the second time the congress has been called off in the last seven months. In December 2015, the association had to postpone the congress because of internal anomalies.

This latest postponement has not come as a surprise to some, the build up to the congress has been marred by fierce personal attacks on delegates and candidates.

Ibrahim Bangura, who was supposed to chair the congress remarked during his announcement that

“The disqualification of some candidate which was based on documentation was one other issue we are against and we need to investigate that to ensure nobody is illegally disenfranchised.”

Ahead of the elections on Saturday, three candidates vying for different positions had already been disqualified.

One of the candidates that were barred from running, Philip Bock told the press that the executive has no legal basis of disqualifying his candidacy and that only the electoral committee could do so.

Last week the Secretary General of WAFA, Kasho Holland Cole issued out a press release explaining that the executive have gone forward to disqualify three candidates. The release did not state whether the decision was taken in consultation with the Electoral committee of the association.

Aside from controversies like these, the parent body of football in the country, Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) has also demanded to do integrity check on candidates that are contesting the WAFA elections. This is in line with SLFA’s constitution. However, most delegates were wondering why the checks had not already been done.

As much as integrity checks are part of protocols that bodies like WAFA must undergo, but critics have expressed deep skepticisms over the low moral ground that SLFA stand on to conduct such checks. This skepticism is born out of the questionable mandate over SLFA to run football in the country.

The next date for the congress has not been announced but there is a scheduled meeting between SLFA and WAFA on the 20th of July. Many would hope that this current deadlock in WAFA does not drag on more than this.

© Politico 19/07/16