The Sports Writers Association of Sierra Leone (SWASAL) has called on the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate the delegates of the Sierra Leone National Football team Leone Stars and all officials that are involved in the team’s recent trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Leone Stars traveled to the UAE ahead of their two friendly matches later this month. However, with several controversies surrounding this trip, SWASAL has claimed that there has not been any concrete report from the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) and other national sports bodies on which of the players and officials were called up for the friendly matches, and why a delegate of approximately 50 people has traveled just for two unofficial friendly matches.
Leone Stars are to play the Algerian National team on Saturday, November 19, 2022, Interestingly enough Algeria’s National team is to play Sweden on that same day, so because of this Leone Stars will have no option but to play the Algerian home base team as a substitute for the A team. With these mixups, SWASAL believes that SLFA is to be blamed for such an unplanned trip.
SWASAL is asking the ACC to have a thorough look into this trip as they believe that majority of the officials who made the trip are there just to enjoy the jolly ride and the collection of per-diems as they have no significance to either the players or the matches.
The President of SWASAL Sahr Morris Jr. emphasizes that the sports authorities owe an explanation to every Sierra Leonean and that they should also answer other important questions such as, what is the total cost of the trip? Who organized the friendlies? What is the engagement fee? who are the opponents to be played etc?
He further stated that the Leone Stars’ trip to UAE is suspicious, and the government and the agencies heading the sports sector in the country should be responsible and accountable when carrying out their duties. Sahr Morris jr. concluded that the trip to UAE is a sheer waste of limited national resources that could have been used in other sport-related activities, and it is a total disrespect to the local media and the citizens of Sierra Leone for the authorities to make such an international trip without officially informing the public, he added.
“These people owe Sierra Leoneans a lot of explanation, this is very unfortunate and a sheer waste of limited resources. The government and its agencies responsible for sport in the country should be more responsible, transparent, and accountable. It is a disrespect to the local media and citizens for the authorities to make such an international trip without officially informing the public.”, Sahr Morris Jr.