By S. U. Thoronka………..
The outspoken Minister of Sports, Paul Kamara has attributed his problem with the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) to match fixing and corruption. As a result, the Minister said he finds it difficult to work with certain officials in the FA who he said have betrayed government’s aspiration to promote football in the country.
Football, according to the Minister of Sports is a game that seeks to unify different groups of people in a state and that it should not in any way be politicized for personal gain.
Paul Kamara, however, lamented over the absence of Abdul-Raman Swarray from the FA, a man he described as the finest Secretary General of the FA that Sierra Leone had ever had in living memory. He said since he became Minister of Sports, ‘we have never lost a single match in the country’.
The Minister of Sports noted among other things that because of endemic corruption in the FA and failure to settle bills for accommodation, reputable hotels more especially in the city have refused to do business with the FA. He singled out the Sierra Leone Under-20 team coach who was sacked after the team suffered a 2-0 humiliating defeat in the hands of their Ghanaian counterparts as the man who should be held responsible.
Paul Kamara informed that after the encounter with the Republic of Guinea, he instructed the technical team to prepare the same players against the Ghana Under-20. He said to his greatest surprise the coach, Alimamy K-Foot Turay brought in his own players that caused the defeat.
According to the Minister, there was no reason whatsoever to change a winning team when there was no incidence of injury reported before the match.
The Minister read a letter in which the team manager in question Alimamy K-Foot Turay was alleged to have involved in match fixing at Malaysia in which each of the players received$1,000 while another match was alleged to have been fixed in Syria and the players received $1500 each.
Parliament promised to hear the other side of the story.