Sierra Leone`s top FA official bailed

The SLFA has in the past denied any wrongdoing, referring to the ACC drive as "political interference".

AFP| Last Updated: Sep 09, 2016, 18:11 PM IST
Sierra Leone`s top FA official bailed

Freetown: Sierra Leone`s top football official is on bail following police questioning related to allegations by the country`s anti-graft body that $3.5 million in FIFA and government funds were misused, her lawyer said Friday.

Police arrested Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) president Isha Johansen, her vice-president Brima Kamara and secretary-general Chris Kamara on Wednesday night, and drove them to the headquarters of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in Freetown before they were taken into custody.

Their lawyer told AFP Johansen was bailed on Thursday evening but the two others remained in custody for a second night after failing to meet the required bail conditions.

None have been charged.

ACC chief Ady Macauley told AFP their arrests related to "discrepancies in the financial statement of the SLFA relating to donor and public funds to the amount of $3.5 million," since Johansen assumed office in 2013.

Macauley said Johansen, Brima Kamara and Chris Kamara had been invited to speak to the ACC on several occasions but had failed to respond.

Armed police raided the SLFA`s offices on Thursday and took away documents related to the inquiry, the criminal investigations department told AFP.

According to SLFA officials in Freetown the association is not accountable to the government of Sierra Leone but to FIFA`s account committee, which usually audit national associations.

The SLFA has in the past denied any wrongdoing, referring to the ACC drive as "political interference".

Johansen was elected SLFA president on August 3, 2013 after her main opponent, former Sierra Leone International footballer Mohamed Kallon, was disqualified.

Since then she has faced heavy criticism from football executives, with several local clubs boycotting the national leagues.

She is Sierra Leone`s first female FA president, and also serves on FIFA`s security and integrity committee.

Many Sierra Leoneans have long blamed corruption for the poor performance of the Leone Stars national team.