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Court moves Sierra Leone FA Chief’s corruption hearing

FIFA suspended Sierra Leone in October, last year over government interference

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Sierra leone FA chief
Sierra Leone FA chief, Isha Johansen.

A court in Sierra Leone, yesterday, moved a much-awaited court hearing into corruption allegations against Sierra Leone’s FA president, Isha Johansen. No reason was given for the shift in dates.

FIFA suspended Sierra Leone in October, last year over government interference, the culmination of a row stemming from the decision of Sierra Leone’s anti-corruption commission to sack Johansen and general secretary Christopher Kamara during a probe into corruption and mismanagement in the Sierra Leone Football Association.

Johansen was set aside by the country’s commission pending the outcome of the case against her. Final submissions by both the prosecution and defence were due to have taken place yesterday, along with a date for a final ruling to determine whether Johansen is guilty.

But the hearing was suddenly called off amid confusion over talks of whether the traditional April 27 bank holiday to commemorate Sierra Leone’s Independence Day should have been moved from last Saturday to Monday, because it fell this year on a weekend and whether, as a result, the courts could sit or not.

Johansen and Kamara have long been embroiled in a bitter power struggle, but deny any wrongdoing of misappropriating funds. Johansen claims she is the victim of trumped-up, politically driven charges designed to stop her from carrying out an inquiry into match-fixing and corruption allegedly perpetrated by high-ranking opponents.

“I’m looking forward to the case coming to an end soon because this has been a very painful and destructive era in our football,” said Johansen who pointed out that of 14 original counts against her, eight were thrown out.

“Every single cent was spent on football-related activity. There has been no evidence to show that a single cent has been for my personal benefit.”

-Johansen

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Nigeria’s FA reacts to FIFA’s ban on coach Siasia

FIFA’s Ethics Committee found Siasia “guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to match-fixing

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Nigeria's FA reacts to FIFA's ban on coach Siasia
Acting NFF President, Seyi Akinwunmi.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said on Monday that they were “shocked” by a life ban on former national coach Samson Siasia by FIFA for bribery, vowing to overturn it.

On Friday, the governing body of world football banned Siasia, 52, from football, following a long-running investigation into convicted match-fixer, Wilson Raj Perumal.

After his arrest, Perumal collaborated with investigators.

FIFA’s Ethics Committee found Siasia “guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.”

Siasia, a striker, played 51 times for Nigeria and had two short spells as national coach. 

Acting NFF President Seyi Akinwunmi said in a statement that the FIFA report had been given to the body’s lawyers “to study and provide legal advice to the federation,” he said, adding that Siasia “gave his all for Nigeria.”

The statement read:

“The NFF was shocked to learn of the investigation and the subsequent decision by the FIFA Ethics Committee (Adjudicatory Chamber) placing a life ban on Mr Samson Siasia.”

“Siasia is a football legend but most importantly he is a Nigerian”, he said.  

“We respect the FIFA processes”, said Akinwunmi but added, “the least we as a Federation can do is empathise with him at this time make ourselves available to him and hope that in some way he is able to clear his name.”

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FIFA bans ex-Nigeria football coach for match fixing

Siasia was also handed a fine of 50,000 US dollars

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FIFA on Friday banned former Nigeria Football Federation official Samson Siasia for life after the body’s ethics panel found him guilty of taking bribes in connection with match fixing. 

In a statement, the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s independent ethics committee said the probe targeting Siasia stemmed from a wider investigation involving Wilson Raj Perumal, who has confessed to international match-fixing.

The probe that began in February found Siasia “guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics,” the statement said.

In addition to being banned from all football related activity for life, Siasia was also handed a fine of 50,000 Swiss francs ($50,000, 46,000 euros).

Siasia, a former striker, also briefly coached Nigeria’s men’s national football team. 

FIFA did not detail the nature of ties to Perumal, a Singaporean national who was arrested and jailed in Finland in 2011 for fixing top-tier football games there. 

Perumal later collaborated with match fixing investigators.

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Sebastien Migne resigns as coach of Kenya’s national football team

Frenchman Migne took charge of the team in May 2018 and took Kenya to their first AFCON finals appearance in 15 years

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Sebastien Migne resigns as head coach of Kenya's national football team
Kenya's coach (now-former) Sebastian Migne. (Photo by Khaled DESOUKI / AFP)

Kenya’s football federation said on Monday coach Sebastien Migne was leaving by “mutual consent” eight days after his team were eliminated from qualifying for the 2020 African Nations Championship.

Kenya were knocked out of the tournament, for teams made up only of African-based players, on penalties on August 4 after both legs of their first-round tie with neighbours and arch-rivals Tanzania ended goalless. 

Frenchman Migne took charge of the Harambee Stars in May 2018 and steered the side to a first African Cup of Nations finals appearance in 15 years.

Hampered by injuries to key players, Kenya were eliminated at the group stage despite beating Tanzania, 3-2.

“Football Kenya Federation and Harambee Stars head coach Sebastian Migne have agreed to terminate the coach’s contract on mutual consent” said  Barry Otieno, the federation’s acting general secretary.

“Consequently, FKF and Migne have agreed on a settlement for the coach, over a period of time.”

Otieno said the re-organisation and appointment for a new coaching team was already underway.

Kenya play Egypt in the preliminary round of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cairo in November.

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