Sports

Freetown: Isa Johansen Returns with goodies from FIFA

14 September 2013 at 22:39 | 1987 views

Special to PV

The President of the football association Isha Johansen has told journalists, football’s world governing body FIFA will fund the refurbishment of the Sierra Leone Football Association Complex.

She made this disclosure in a press conference held at the football association conference room in Kingtom after a successful visit to Zurich, where she met with FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

Mrs Johansen (photo) intimated the media that FIFA has fast tracked funds for the refurbishment and the process will commence soonest. She said a meeting with Francesco Bruscoli, FIFA head of development for Africa gave her the opportunity to discuss possible intervention areas from FIFA after Bruscoli had reviewed projects and opportunities available to SLFA. She added that Bruscoli outlined the next steps to be undertaken by FIFA beginning with the 2013 Goal Project.

The team (FIFA) have structured the proposal as to be more flexible with the funding but strongly advised that the funds be used strategically as this first project will ascertain future funding. Bruscoli suggested that based on the needs of SLFA the funds are to be utilized to refurbish the Technical Centre, buy furniture and undertake an activity, i.e. camp, women’s football, training etc.

She said that the Head of Development for Africa added that Once the Technical Centre is up and running, they can continue to send their support. In conclusion Madam Johansen said that for the execution of the Goal Project, SLFA will need to advertise for a consultant engineer or architect. The role of the consultant will be to establish the scope of the project as well as be a part of the evaluation team that will review the submitted bids. Once a reputable company has been selected, a contract will be drawn between FIFA and the company as FIFA will pay the invoices.

It could be recalled that, the football academy or technical centre was funded by the FIFA goal project during the Justice Tholla-Thomspon led executive era.

Report on the consultative meeting with FIFA.

Madam Isha Johansen

SLFA President

Zurich and London

AUGUST 25 – SEPTEMBER 4, 2013

Team Members

Madam Isha Johansen -President

Yeniva Sisay-Sogbeh- Assistant to the President

Objectives:

-The introduction of President Isha Johansen to President Sepp Blatter

- To hold consultative meetings with FIFA departments

- To sensitize the football community about SLFA’s newly elected Executive Committee

- Raise awareness about the development of SLFA

- Seek opportunities to raise funds

- Create alliances and partnerships with players in the football industry for the development of SLFA

- FIFA Headquarters, Zurich

Madam President was warmly received by Francesco Bruscoli, Senior Manager – Development Programs in Africa. He narrated the agenda for the full day. Madam President was then introduced to Theirry Regenass, Director – Member Associations & Development Division. Mr. Regenass congratulated Madam President for her victory. He informed her that he was aware of the progress of Sierra Leone from the delayed elections to the Normalization Committee and on throughout the electoral process. Mr. Regenass said that he was pleased with enthusiasm of the new executive and he looks forward to a new and healthy relationship with SLFA.

Mr. Bruscoli then gave Madam President a tour of the different departments in FIFA. He confirmed appointments after the meeting with President Blatter. After the tour Madam President was then escorted to the conference room for the meeting with President Blatter.

President Blatter congratulated Madam President saying “It is an honor Madam President to welcome you, the second woman FA president in the world, to the FIFA family. I am truly honored.” He said that Africa is FIFA’s baby. With all of the money being put into the development of football all over the world FIFA recognizes this is difficult and wants to help the development of football in Africa. “Africa receives double effort and special support.” President Blatter recalled his visit to Sierra Leone in his previous capacity as an executive committee member. President Blatter then asked Madam President about how she got into football. Madam President narrated her story of passion for football since she was a child however her entry point into the industry was through youth football and the development of her own football club. President Blatter then responded “With FC Johansen correct?”

Madam President looked surprised of his knowledge with a smile. They then discussed her plans for the development of SLFA with a three prong approach;

- Education

- Youth development

- Women’s football

President Blatter echoed that it wonderful to have women at the helm of football. “Football is a school of life; you learn through education, social skills, culture, discipline and team work”.

Madam President thanked President Blatter for the support given thus far with the award of the Goal project for the refurbishment of the Secretariat, Academy and Technical Center. Finally Madam President asked for a special intervention by FIFA to assist Sierra Leone in the construction of a female football academy to which President Blatter responded by saying he will look into the matter seriously but gave no firm commitment as of yet.

He gave account of development, growth, and interest in female football all over the world ( i.e. North Africa, Qatar Women’s Academy, Islamic Women’s Clubs) and encouraged that the challenge is not insurmountable.

Madam President ended by inviting President Blatter for the opening of the new football pitch at the National Stadium.

Madam President was then ushered into a working meeting with Mr. Bruscoli. During this meeting Mr. Bruscoli reviewed opportunities and projects available to SLFA. Mr. Francesco Bruscoli outlined the next steps to be undertaken by FIFA beginning with the 2013 Goal Project. The team have structured the proposal as to be more flexible with the funding. He strongly advised that the funds be used strategically as this first project will ascertain future funding. His suggestion based on the needs of SLFA were to use the funds to refurbish the Technical Center, buy furniture and undertake an activity, i.e camp, women’s football, training etc. Once the Technical Center is up and running they can continue to send their support. As for the execution of the Goal Project, SLFA will need to advertise for a consultant who is an engineer or architect. The role of the consultant will be to establish the scope of the project as well as be a part of the evaluation team that will review the submitted bids. Once a reputable company has been selected, a contract will be drawn between FIFA and the company as FIFA will pay the invoices.

Mr. Bruscoli implored that Madam President must work to establish a strong secretariat. FIFA recognizes the administrative lapses of the last executive. It is advised that the technical team is a priority as this is where development of the game occurs. The job of the Technical Director is key and recruiting the right person for the position will help SLFA achieve its goals. The Technical Director along with the Assistant Technical Director and Education Officer will run the department. FIFA offers 3-4 courses per year, CAF also offers courses. SLFA can also hold course depending on needs. In all, the Secretariat should be mainly run by a strong group of 3-5 people with minimal ancillary roles as needed.

At the end of September early October FIFA will be sending a delegation to Sierra Leone to help with the assist with administrative set up and goal setting for the organization. The activity is called ORLA, Organizational Review and Leadership Retreat. During this visit a main consultant will be assigned to SLFA this will be the main contact through the administrative development period.

Mr. Bruscoli discussed the media and communications, PR, marketing, and communications which are all a part of developing SLFA. Website becomes your voice to the media and community. Social media has also become an important part of football, facebook, twitter etc.

SLFA should also look at income generating activities. There is a need to analyze the local market; embassies have been known to support FA’s, sponsorship from private sector, as well as development agencies although they are more complicated donors.

Madam President was then taken to a meeting with Jean- Marie Conz, Senior Manager Technical Department. Mr. Conz is a seasoned professional with experience as a player, coach and club owner. He echoed Madam President’s view that youth football is key. He said Sierra Leone has a lot of potential and that the SLFA should take advantage of all of the opportunities given to them. Mr. Conz said this has not been the case of Sierra Leone in the past. There are opportunities is Beach Football and Grassroots these are key to African counties esp in Sierra Leone. Mr. Conz provided videos for background information and pledged his support of SLFA.

In the Competition Division Madam was introduced to Mr. Massimo Busacca, Head of Referring. He presented the programs provided under his division. Mr. Busacca said that Sierra Leone had participated in a few of the programs. In particular he remembers the coaching exam where some of the coaches scored particularly low. He pleaded with Madam to ensure

that coach’s get the necessary training and development as this is an essential part of football development. He provided Madam President with scores and reports from the training for her review.

Mr. Roberto Perna then joined the meeting. Mr. Perna is the Group Leader Education Programs, Member Associations & Development Division. Mr. Perna congratulated the President onher new appointment and echoed his support for the SLFA reviewed programs offered under his division. Mr. Perna provided course catalogue and program outline for available courses. He hopes that SLFA will apply for programs as soon as possible.

Madam President’s tour continued throughout the various departments introducing herself and the SLFA. It was a full day as the meeting ended well after 6:00pm.

In the evening Madam President met with a personal contact Hanspeter Rothsmund of “Football Is More”, an organization dedicated to the development of youth football and access for all in the game. Mr. Rothsmund congratulated the President and promised to put forth a proposal of how his organization can assist SLFA.

On the 28th the President left Zurich for London for scheduled press visits and additional meetings.

Rachel Yankey of Arsenal Women’s Team,the most capped player in the world, reached out to Madam President. She scheduled a meeting with Manisha Tailor a football coach and educator who works with the Rachel Yankey Foundation. Ms. Yankey is interested with working with female football all over the world. The Rachel Yankey Foundation is interested in working with the SLFA. Madam President welcomed the idea as well as the opportunity for Rachel Yankey to be a goodwill ambassador for Women’s Football in Sierra Leone. They will submit a proposal to outline the working relationship.

During the trip Madam President was able to meet with Philip Hebert of Kentro group. Kentro group is very interested in brokering the deal between the FA and Puma. As a token of their goodwill they have provided the kit for the three consecutive international matches ( Cape Verde, Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea( Home).

Media interviews included VOX Africa, CNN and BBC. Media interviews offered Madam President an opportunity to lift the profile of Sierra Leone and giving the world an opportunity to view our country in a more positive light through football.

Upon the return of Madam President the Secretariat received confirmation of the visit of the FIFA turf consultant who will arrive September 27th to inspect the national stadium in anticipation of the project to be launched in 2014.

Next Steps:

-Follow up on Goal Project 2013

- Advertise for Consultant to manage bids for the refurbishment of the Technical Center/Secretariat

- Advertise for bids of refurbishment

- Set up and confirmation of Administrative team

- FIFA Turf consultant to come and view the pitch 27/9/13

- ORLA team to visit Sierra Leone ( end of September/ October)

- Awaiting Rachel Yankey- Proposal

SIERRA LEONE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION

AFFILIATED TO FIFA, CAF & WAFU

The Secretariat

Tel: 23276687223/+23233546284

21 Battery Street

Fax:241339

SLFA Football Academy
Email:starssierra@gmail.com

Kingtom

September, 12 2013

Press Release

Warning to Chief Torto of Kono

The attention of the Executive Committee of the Football Association has been drawn to the unsavory and scathing statements peddled by Chief Torto, Chairman of Diamond Stars Football Club of Kono against the Football Association Executive Committee.

Chief Torto has embarked on a campaign of calumny aimed at bringing the effort of the Executive Committee of controlling football around the country into disrepute.

As a result, the Executive Committee is calling on the traditional Leader to desist from making such utterances by painting the effort of the Executive Committee in bad light.

Therefore, any negative utterances again from the revered Chief against the Executive Committee’s effort in organizing and controlling football around the country will warrant disciplinary measures from the Executive Committee as empowered by the statutes of the Football Association.

Isha A. Johansen

President

Abdul Rahman Swaray

General Secretary

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