The suspension comes after FIFA sent a letter to the country’s Minister of Sports expressing “grave concern” about the removal of the football association president, Isha Johansen and the association’s General Secretary, Christopher Kamara.
In a statement, FIFA said: “The Bureau of the FIFA Council decided today to suspend the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) with immediate effect due to government interference.”
The ban couldn’t have come at a worse time for the country as Sierra Leone is just one week ahead of a crucial African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Ghana on October 11.
Following the ban, SLFA has lost all membership rights, FIFA said. This means the SLFA’s national and club teams are no longer entitled to take part in international competitions until the suspension is lifted.
FIFA says it will only lift the suspension if “the SLFA and its recognised leadership… have confirmed to FIFA that the SLFA administration, premises, accounts and communication channels are under their control once again.”
Isha Johanssen, President of Sierra Leone Football Association declined to comment fully because of legal reasons, but told CNN: “It’s a sad day for Sierra Leone football and for the Sierra Leone people.”