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Isha Johansen Pulls out of SLFA Race

By Mohamed Kamara & 

Hassan I. Conteh

Freetown, Sierra Leone.

The ground for the race of SLFA's ( Sierra Leone Football Association ) presidency has been soften for others after the incumbent Madam Isha Johansen withdrew her candidacy yesterday. 

Being recently elected as FIFA Council member, Madam Johansen thought she would have huge tasks ahead to accomplish. 

"I will be required to play a higher level and more active role as a Global Ambassador for football and for FIFA" she admitted. 

"After much deliberation and soul-searching, it is with sadness that I have decided to announce the withdrawal of my candidacy for President in the upcoming Sierra Leone Football Associationelections" she added. 

Isha Johansen was elected as President for SLFA since 2013.

Although her term had long expired, she allegedly enjoyed FIFA's backing which kept her holding onto power while the domesticleague perished. 

Her withdrawal came few days ahead of SLFA Elective Congress which is scheduled to take place on June 4 and 5 in Makeni, north of Sierra Leone. 

In a press release, she noted the gains her adminstration has made over the years. 

"I want to thank all of my supporters and well-wishers from across the country for their unwavering loyalty...I pride myself in the belief that I've played a significant role in restoring interigity, compliance and good governance in our nation's football" said Madam Johansen. 

She however, prayed that her such gains built may not be destroyedin the near future, adding that she would continue to use her 'ambassadorial status' to give a facelift to Sierra Leone's football infrastructure, one of the poorest in Africa.  

However, according to Sierra Sports, Madam Johansen is said to have thrown her weight behind Thomas Daddy Brima for SLFA's presidency. 

But remour has Madam Johansen's moves is to handpick the 'inactive' and unpopular candidate, Thomas, to remotely controllhim while she would have gone. 

Earlier, SLFA Ethics Committee disqualified Mohamed Kallon, ex-Inter Millan player, Rodney Edmond Michael, former Sierra Leone Premier League Board Chairman.

But Rodney Michael was later declared by the country's Court of Arbitration for Sport ( CAS) as eligible to contest for the Presidency of Sierra Leone Football Association ( SLFA) until his case before the court was concluded. 

However, one of the candidates, Lawyer Emmanuel Saffa Abudulai, former Premier League Board Chairman, also stood down from contesting for SLFA's Presidency. 

Currently, as Madam Johansen pulls out, the race for SLFA's Presidency is now widely expected to be contested among Kofi Deen Nyakoh, Thomas Daddy Brima and Rodney Michael. 

Judging by his popularity, if Rodney Michael is acquitted from theHigh Court and elections are conducted fairly and freely, he will remain the most suitable candidate to win 2021 SLFA's Presidential elections.