Pure bliss and pulsating thrills must coursing through Thomas Daddy Brima, President of the Sierra Leone Football Association, who clocked one year in office on 6th June, 2022. In a year that has seen football stakeholders fall to the fangs of serious controversies in the struggle for leadership in the beautiful game of football, he is strong and now serving as a unifier. It’s a time for sober reflections for a man who aspired to be a footballer but ended up as head of the country’s football Association.

Growing up in Freetown, Brima had an intense love for the game of football. While some of his contemporaries later took it to the big stage and played for the Leone Stars National team, he took the road less travelled. Brima’s administrative experience emanates from his position as chairman of a second Tier Club, Wilberforce Strikers. But after his short playing career, he moved to the United States of America where he bags degrees in Business and Politics.

Brima succeeded Isha Johansen who relinquished power as a result of her new FIFA council position. Johansen, Africa’s first elected FA President had been at the helm of the SLFA since 2013, but her tenure was characterised by conflict.

Before he assume the mantle of SLFA leadership, at a time when big names in Sierra Leone football allure of the filthy lucre, Brima passed the FIFA Integrity Test-a rigorous check on an individual’s credibility and personal life- with flying colours. His transparency and incompatibility commensurately earned him the trust of football delegates who placed the destiny of Sierra Leone Football on his shoulder.

In his first year, Brima has indeed evolved as a leading figure in Sierra Leone football, especially under current FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, who respects his virtues, opinions and understanding of African Football Management.

As he was interviewed by the BBC to discuss his administrative trajectory, Brima described his stewardship at the SLFA as a Unifying one “At this point, we are going to call a retreat we’ll get everybody that has been frustrated one way or other to vent out their grievances and we try to pilot the right way forward.”

He was one of five initial candidates for the SLFA presidency but was boosted by the withdrawal of three including Johansen, who then gave him her backing. The two other withdrawals, Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai and Rodney Micheal, both backed the defeated Koffi Dee-Nyarkooh.

Under Brima’s exemplary leadership, Sierra Leone qualifies for the first time in the 2021 African Cup of Nations in Cameroon after 22years.

former Sierra Leonean football stars have been highly considered for coaching positions in various national teams in the country. Brima had confidence in Coach Francis Zappa Koroma and appointed him as head coach of the Leone Stars B in the 2022 CHAN qualifiers. Besides, many other former Leones star players were appointed as part of the Leone Stars Technical team in the 2021 AFCON Competition in Cameroon.

The women are also not left out of his vision to develop Sierra Leone Football. Asmaa James, Musu Pele Bangura and others have also been appointed in a bid geared toward the development of female football in the country.

President Brima chooses his path deliberately as he recognises and appreciates the great efforts of footballers who have done well locally and internationally for the glory of Sierra Leone.

Brima’s astute leadership has also facilitated more Sierra Leoneans than ever being designated to serve as CAF Match Officials in various tournaments.

Three female officials- Miriam Heroe, Precious A. E. Amara and Humu Marah were recently designated by CAF to play strategic roles in the organization of the just concluded WAFU Zone A Women’s Club Champions League Qualifiers and the WAFU Zone A U15 in the just concluded Tournament in Monrovia, Liberia.

Heroe and Amara served as Assistant General Coordinator and Assistant Referee respectively in the Women’s Club Championship whiles Marah was one of the selected referees for the WAFU Zone A U15 tournament.

Also, both Prince Kai Squee and Alhaji Sanusi Rashid have been designated by CAF to serve as Match Commissioner and Referees Assessor respectively in the upcoming TotalEnergies 2022 CHAN Qualifiers match between Ghana and Nigeria to be staged on Sunday the 28th of August 2022 in Goal Coast, Ghana.

His vision for Sierra Leone Football remains to build a sustainable football culture through the development of grassroots football. He is also determined to improve football infrastructure and facilities at both national and regional levels, as can be seen in his passion for the implementation of FIFA and CAF Projects across the country