By Eric Elezuo
The President of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA), Isha Tejan Cole Johansen, has vowed to continue the struggle for the upliftment of Sierra Leone football and women, the persecutions she is facing notwithstanding.
Mrs. Johansen, who had been having a running battle with the anti-corruption agency in Sierra Leone told TheBoss that “I don’t know how my story will end, but nowhere in my story will it read Isha Johansen gave up.”
While explaining the recent attack on her office and person, Johansen noted: Unsurprisingly, my detractors have intensified their witch hunt as the ACC (Anti-Corruption Commission), after a one year silence since our arrest, has invited my General Secretary to their office at 9am this morning (Thursday).
“It is believed that he will be charged and indicted on what basis we do not know. this same will no doubt apply to me when I step foot into back home as they are trying everything possible to avoid FIFA conducting integrity checks on football stakeholders in Sierra Leone and the opening of a match fixing enquiry,” she told TheBoss.
This is not the first time that Johansen will be haunted by the anti-graft agency. She and her Secretary General were reportedly indicted on six count of corruption related offences.
It would be recalled that in 2016, Johansen and some of her senior officials were arrested after they returned home from an African Nations Cup match between Sierra Leone and Cote D’Ivoire in Bouake, Cote D’Ivoire.
After their release, she wrote: “Events over the past 48 hours involving my arrest by the Anti-Corruption and subsequent custody at the C.I.D left me shocked and mortified. I am happy to report that I have been released without any charges. My innocence in any allegation/s involving corruption or related offences is undisputed.”
While describing the arrest of her senior officer as ‘another sad day for justice, integrity and patriotism in Sierra Leone, a sad day for women who chose to lead and refused to be bullied and or intimidated by men’, she boldly added that ‘this is one battle I will fight to the end’.
Isha Johansen has experienced fifteen years career in football administration nationally and globally. She is noted to have made integrity and good governance her watchword believing that a healthy football family can contribute to creating a healthy nation. She was elected to the presidency of Sierra Leone FA in August 2013.
Her dexterity in the administration of football put her in the frontline during the days when a successor for the then FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, was being considered.