Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) President Thomas Daddy Brima has responded to the criticism surrounding the FA’s decision not to appoint Mohamed Kallon as the head coach of Sierra Leone’s National Football Team.
In an exclusive interview with AYV Wake Up Sierra Leone, President Brima provided insights into the reasoning behind this decision and shed light on the broader context.
Below are the key points from President Brima’s interview:
President Brima expressed his initial desire to appoint Mohamed Kallon as the national team’s coach but highlighted several ethical issues surrounding Kallon that need resolution. These issues include a four-match ban from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and an incident involving an attack on female referees and officials, which is under review by both CAF and FIFA.
The SLFA President emphasized their commitment to testing Amidu Karim for the World Cup qualifiers, citing the belief that “when the best is not available, the available becomes the best.” Amidu Karim is seen as a more attacking-minded coach, which contrasts with John Keister’s defensive approach, leading to the decision to give Amidu Karim an opportunity.
President Brima clarified that the National Sports Authority (NSA) does not play a role in appointing coaches for the National Team. It is the Federation’s responsibility to train and hire coaches. Time constraints, with two matches scheduled for November, influenced the decision to appoint Amidu Karim. The NSA and the Ministry of Sports (MOS) were consulted and supported this choice.
While foreign nationals were considered, President Brima stated his belief in promoting local content within the coaching staff.
President Brima expressed confidence in the technical team headed by Amidu Karim, alongside Zappa and Abedi, believing they can lead Sierra Leone to qualify for the World Cup.
The SLFA President acknowledged the challenges faced along the way with their initial choice and urged that certain issues should not be made public if they can be handled professionally.
Regarding Mohamed Kallon, President Brima emphasized the need for a thorough background check. FIFA and CAF are not against anyone, but certain questions must be addressed before Kallon can be appointed.
President Brima mentioned briefing the Minister of Sports on the ethical issues, with her understanding the situation and discussing alternative options.
President Brima addressed tensions between the NSA and the Federation, stating that the NSA’s role is supervisory, and they should allow the Federation to perform its duties. He assured taking responsibility when needed.
In Amidu Karim’s contract, it was stipulated as provisional, and if they fail to perform, a decision will be made in the best interest of the country.
President Brima firmly stated that the letter from the NSA was tantamount to discrediting the Football Federation, and they will not accept it. The decision was made in the best interest of the country.
This interview provides insight into the complex decision-making process behind the selection of the national team’s coach and highlights the importance of addressing ethical concerns in football leadership.