ACC to help raise the game for SLFA

17 October 2013 at 00:52 | 3311 views

By John Lappia Konteh, Freetown, Sierra Leone.

The Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission in Sierra Leone Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara has said that the commission will work with the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) to develop a code of ethics for the FA. He made this disclosure to the Executive Committee of the FA when they paid a courtesy call at the Commission’s headquarters on 3 Gloucester Street in Freetown on Monday 14th October.

The visit was prompted by the FA’s thrust to take the management of Football to institutions that were only on the receiving end of negativism about Football and to introduce members of the Isha Johansen led executive to the Commission. It was also to initialize a partnership with the commission in the fight against corruption in the game and as a means of introducing transparency and accountability.

Receiving the delegation from the FA, the ACC boss Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara Said, "This is a very beautiful day for us since it is a visit from the SLFA. I am particularly thrilled especially with the new slogan "Raise Your Game." It resonates with our activities, in terms of our public education. We have seen in Sierra Leone that a level of mediocrity has settled in and people do not aspire for the best. It is an activity (that is the launch of the new slogan) which we will like to participate in and it has to go beyond SLFA."

He added, the idea might have come from the FA, but it is bigger than the FA therefore it is national call. We will partner with the FA to market the game and we as a people must be prepared."

Commissioner Kamara said accountability and transparency are foremost in the endeavors and the mandate of the commission, and they will work to introduce these core values into the entire football management systems in the country by organising joint workshops to discuss accountability, internal controls and the prevention of activities within the football associations that end in court. Another area of concern he zoomed in on was the aspect of conduct and ethics. His primary mandate as a commissioner is to vacuum clean associations and organizations of corrupt individuals, but he also has his ears on events and activities around the sporting world. In this direction, the ACC boss said, reports emanating from the leagues in Fourah bay must stop and government has a direct role to play in that trajectory.

"We will give you all the support in terms of assisting the FA develop a code which is very important. People don’t often have guidelines and regulations. The commission can assist in setting up the code to regulate the nation’s football governing body and provide you with whatever support you need. However, staff of the ACC cannot serve in any of the committees, because it will amount to conflict of interest, but our doors are open to the FA and should you need legal opinion on any matter, you can write to us and if it is within our mandate we can look at it and advice you on the law surrounding the matter in question and how it will impact on our work," Commissioner Kamara said.

Presenting the delegation from the FA to the Commissioner and various Directors of Departments at the ACC earlier, the President Isha Johansen said, "It isn’t every day you see people coming to the commission smiling." They are often jittery, when visits are made to the only Anti graft body in Sierra Leone. These visits are most times as a result of being summoned for a case against their name or the institution they work for, for corruption or related matters.

Mrs. Johansen said that the association’s courtesy call is predicated on the fact that her executive perceives the ACC as important partners and at the end of the day, it will be the Commission’s ascent on where they will work with the FA to better the image of the association. She said the association has a new slogan "Raise Your Game", which is going to be launched nationally. The slogan is not only a mandate for players to raise the level of the game on the pitch, but also off the pitch. It is for football administrators, the ACC and every Sierra Leonean.

She added that the FA has been fraught with problems, problems that are not new to the commission and this visit therefore is an attempt to create a new face and a new image and eventually, new partners of the FA.

"We will be working with every organization both local and internationally as partners and people who have interest in not just football, but in seeing the next generation grow."

Work ethics, Integrity, discipline, fair play, transparency and accountability are some of the other areas the President asked the commission to help the association with, so that the FA will be able to transmit that to the public as the association looks to change the mind set of people towards the game.

Meanwhile, the ACC boss has said that as a law abiding institution they recognize what the law has acknowledged, therefore they recognize what FIFA has recognized. He said: "I hope that the others who may not have found favor in the electoral process would come on board."