Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) President Isha Johansen has been acquitted on all counts of corruption by a high court in Freetown.Her acquittal, along with SLFA General Secretary Christopher Kamara, paves the way for the lifting of a ban from global football.The two top SLFA officials, were surrounded by their jubilant supporters as they left the court. Both were standing trial on three counts of corruption brought by the Sierra Leone Anti Corruption Commission (ACC).They were accused of misappropriating US$50,000 given to SLFA by CAF for covering of cost for the conduct of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Tests on 30 players of the Sierra Leone Under-17 team in 2014 and dishonestly appropriated US$ 5,000 to repay a loan to the husband of Isha, Arne Johansen.Justice Reginal Finn said the prosecution had failed to prove their case and that there was no evidence before him to hold the defendants culpable.Football’s world governing body, FIFA, suspended Sierra Leone in October last year due to the third-party interference in the running of the SLFA,Soon after the suspension FIFA said it would “wait for the completion of the trial before further measures can be considered, including the lifting of the suspension, if deemed appropriate.”The ban came after the country’s anti-corruption commission (ACC) set aside Johansen and Kamara and handed over control of the SLFA to Vice-president Brima Mazola Kamara and Assistant Secretary General Abdul Rahman Swarray.The ACC says that under Sierra Leone law, both Johansen and Kamara must vacate their posts until their case on corruption-related charges concludes.FIFA always maintained that it would only recognise Johansen as the SLFA president.Sierra Leone’s ban saw them disqualified from the qualifying campaign for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Share SBC Roundtable: A new ‘Pace’ for live cricket trading July 8, 2020 Paytm First Games reveals two-tournament India esports launch April 24, 2020 StumbleUpon Share Related Articles Submit Mark Wilson: How FSB is meeting the recreational cricket punter’s demands August 20, 2020 The idea that three England cricketers spot-fixed a test match in India 18 months ago has been described as “outrageous” by Head Coach Trevor Bayliss and captain Joe Root.Doha broadcaster Al Jazeera has alleged that Bayliss’ side deliberately batted defensively for a short passage of the fifth test against India, which took place in Chennai in December 2016.According to Al Jazeera, middle man Aneel Munawar, said to work for a syndicate that controls much of the $60 billion a year illegal market in India, spent 18 months posing as a wealthy businessman to speak to members of criminal gangs in India involved in spot-fixing. It says these gangs were filmed on a hidden camera giving details of how they paid professional cricketers to fix parts of matches.Names of those allegedly involved are only stated by Munawar after the event but, like the specific information regarding which overs were allegedly manipulated, these are redacted in the final edit. Munawar is confronted by Al Jazeera’s reporter at the end of documentary, but leaves the room without comment.Having been made public by the Qatar broadcaster in a ‘Cricket Match-Fixers’ documentary over the weekend, the allegation sparked a defiant response from ECB Chairman Tom Harrison.He said: “There is nothing we have seen that would make us doubt any of our players in any way whatsoever. The limited information we have been given has been discussed with all the England players.“They emphatically deny the allegations, have stated categorically that the claims are false, and they have our full support. Neither ECB nor the ICC is aware of any credible evidence connecting any England players to any form of corruption.”Bayliss, who took over as Head Coach of the team in 2015, told Sky Sports: “Outrageous. I knew a documentary was going to be coming out. I wouldn’t have a clue what’s in it yet, or seen it. But, having been there [at the Chennai Test], outrageous is all I can say.”Root, who only assumed the captaincy from Alastair Cook in early 2017, added: “I am aware that there is a documentary and it is outrageous that our players have been accused. All the players have the full backing of the ECB.”A similar claim of spot-fixing is also made regarding two Australia players during the third Test against India in Ranchi last year. Cricket Australia responded before the documentary’s full broadcast with a statement from their chief executive James Sutherland who, like the ECB, dismissed the claims by saying there was “no credible evidence”.
Honestly, Paul Pierce still believes he’s a truth-teller. As a TV talking head, that’s important and refreshing.Having turned 40 last week, and squeezing out the last two years of a 19-year NBA career with the Clippers, the former Inglewood High star says he finds it a natural, mature and essential transition to take over a full-time speaking gig at ESPN on their NBA shows. It’s a spot that came up when Bruce Bowen’s contract ran out, and he landed with the Clippers as their new Prime Ticket game analyst.Current TNT studio analyst Shaquille O’Neal once pinned Pierce with the nickname “The Truth.” Does that put any extra pressure on him to speak the truth about players who he was just playing against last year?“Yeah, it’s easy, that’s just who I am,” Pierce said this week from his home in Calabasas. “I give my honest opinion. Whether it’s right or wrong, but it’s an opinion that I’ll make. It’s easy, man. “None of these guys are calling my hot line saying they want to come beat me up or anything. Everybody is entitled to an honest opinion. What does it matter that I played against these guys than somebody else who didn’t play against them?”As a “guest” analyst during the last two NBA Finals, Pierce got his reps in and “I had a good time. I developed a good chemistry with the team there. After I did the second one, and I just thought maybe this is something I could do after basketball. I enjoyed talking about the game. I enjoyed being around it. I’ve been around it my whole life. So why not make this a second career out of this?“It gives me a chance to be around the game. When you’ve been around the game so much for so many years, it’s just like it’s a part of you. It’s like, man, when I was on the set during the NBA Finals, it’s funny that we’re on tape and we have microphones and suits on, but it’s like this is stuff we did every day in the locker room — talked hoops, we talked our opinions.”Pierce, who will appear on ESPN’s “The Jump,” “NBA Countdown” pre-game and halftime as well as jump in on “First Take” Thursday morning when it comes to the ESPN LA Live studios, admits he was in a position like many former players when their careers end. Getting into TV work maintains a connection they still desire.“I think the challenging part is a lot of players from different sports sometimes don’t always know what they want to do. You kind of just fall into it, and then once I was working the NBA Finals a year ago, and it was just like really feeling comfortable and doing stuff that I did on an everyday basis in the locker room talking hoops and talking about different players and talking about the games. It’s like something I’ve been doing my whole life. “Now you’re just doing it to where people can hear your opinion on certain games and certain players. It just felt I was feeling comfortable right at home. Now I’m doing it on the big screen.“I’ve been talking basketball pretty much my whole life. Now I’ve garnered the respect of my peers to hear me speak about the game. I just think it’s going to take on a life of its own.”OK, first test of his knowledge and honesty: Did you really expect Chris Paul to leave the Clippers, having known him as a teammate the last two seasons?(Also keep in mind: ESPN The Magazine has Jackie MacMullan doing a cover piece on this topic with the headline “Better Call Paul” and ESPN Films has invested in a three-part series called “Chris Paul’s Chapter 3” that begins airing Thursday at 4 p.m.)“Truthfully, I didn’t think there was no way that Chris would leave the Clippers,” said Pierce. “He really built up something special, you know, with getting the Clippers back to being legitimate, make the playoffs every year, 55 games. He just bought a new home like less than a year ago. He had a $200 million offer on the table. So that really shocked me that he would leave.“Obviously, sometimes him and Doc had their differences, but what star players don’t have differences with their head coach? Especially when you guys have been together four or five years and things haven’t really panned out the way you really wanted them to. Same thing happened in Boston. Me and Doc, we didn’t look eye to eye all the time.“But that really shocked me seeing him leave, especially what he had built in L.A., on and off the court, and he had a huge contract in front of him and with him getting a new house. So that really shocked me. I didn’t think there was no way he would leave Los Angeles.”That’s the truth Pierce is sticking with.More media notes heading into the weekend at www.insidesocal.com/tomhoffarth Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error