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FIFA suspends Sierra Leone to punish government interference

October 5, 2018

ZURICH (AP) — FIFA says it suspended Sierra Leone from international football because of government interference in how the national federation is run.

FIFA acted on Friday, six days before Sierra Leone is scheduled to play a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game in Ghana.

The intervention aims to protect the elected president Isha Johansen, a rare example of a woman heading a FIFA member federation, and her CEO-like general secretary.

Typically, FIFA’s threatened action forces government authorities to back down and restore elected officials.

FIFA asks that both officials “be allowed to access the SLFA premises without further delay to ensure that the operations of the SLFA, including FIFA-funded projects, are not jeopardized.”

Sierra Leone is set to host Ghana in another continental qualifier on Oct. 15.

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