Isha Johansen withdraws from Sierra Leone FA polls


Isha Johansen will not stand for re-election as president of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) in Saturday’s elections.

Her decisions to withdraw from the polls will bring an end to her eight-year stint as head of the SLFA.

With the remaining three candidates in the Sierra Leone polls all men it means Africa will be left without a female football association president.

Johansen’s decision comes after she was elected as the Confederation of African Football’s (Caf) only woman representative on the Fifa Council in March.

“As a recently elected Fifa council member, I will be required to play a higher level and more active role as a global ambassador for football and Fifa,” Johansen said in a statement.

“My new role will require extensive global travelling and consequently increased demands on my time.

“After much deliberation and soul searching, it’s with sadness that I have decided to announce the withdrawal of my candidacy for president in the upcoming SLFA elections.

“I hereby offer the new SLFA executive and staff my best wishes for the future and assure my full support from within Fifa.

“I want to thank all of my supporters and well-wishers from across the country for their unwavering loyalty, integrity and for the years of dedication to our cause and vision in changing our narrative and raising the game of football in Sierra Leone.

“I remain your friend, mother, and sister in football.”

Johansen has pledged to continue to supporting Sierra Leone’s football development through her new role at Fifa.

“Whilst I pride myself in the belief that I have played a significant role in restoring integrity, compliance and good governance in our nation’s football, my fervent prayer is that we do not lose what we fought so hard to build,” she continued.

“As long as we continue to respect the rules of compliance and good governance, I pledge to expend every effort to ensure the delivery of football development programmes and infrastructure in the deserved benefit of our children and our nation.”

Johansen’s withdrawal leaves Sadick Deen-Nyarkoh, Thomas Daddy Brima and Rodney Michael to stand in Saturday’s SLFA presidential election.

Michael has been allowed to stand on a provisional basis by the Court of Arbitration for Sport until his case before them is concluded.

Source: BBC