A project which was supposed to have finished by the end of this month is now taking forever as works on the project has halted with conflicting information on the said project by the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA).
This was exposed by a surprised visit by the Sports Minister, Ibrahim Nyelenkeh to see the FIFA sponsored construction of an artificial turf which is being done through the county’s football association.
This visit has caused tempers within the Sierra Leone Football Association to flare up while at the same time the President of the Association, Isha Johansen has gone to the Chief Minister, David Francis to report the Minister of Sport who is the supervisory ministry.
In a statement by the FA, they said the decisions to halt the project are temporary security measures in view of the COVID-19 global crisis and cited climate conditions as major consideration.
That the President of SLFA has on Tuesday 25 May engaged in a meaningful solution management meeting with Chief Minister, Prof. David Francis in an attempt to see how best to incorporate the legal FIFA contracted partners with a view to expedite the completion of the Kenema Artificial Turf.
But Minister of Sports, Nyelenkeh said he does not think it was necessary to have involved the FA in visiting the construction site in Kenema, noting that, “as a supervisory body, they have the legitimate right to do so.”
It seems as if the SLFA is giving conflicting statement with regards the said project which was supposed to have been completed this month.
The Minister of Sports mentioned that while the SLFA in a Press Release states that the break comes from decisions based on “temporary security measures in view of the COVID-19 global crisis with the climate conditions also being a major consideration, the Minister of Sports revealed that his visit was based on the conversation that ensued between himself (Nylenkeh) and the SLFA Secretary General, Chris Kamara.
“I called him up two weeks ago, inquiring about the progress of the construction project in Kenema. He replied that the contractor had abandoned the job and had made his way out of the country without the knowledge of the FA. This is what prompted our visit to the site in Kenema,” the Minister revealed.
That the above response provisionally holds a shift in view when scaled against the FA’s claim that the Minister is not privy to recent development from FIFA.
Minister Nyelenkeh also said he was disappointed because of the expectations of the people.
“When you consider the day of turning the Sod which was on February 29, 2020 to date, by my estimation the work should have taken effect. But as I speak, nothing tangible has happened to the construction project. Even the drainages they started erecting have not been completed. A portion of that has started collapsing because of bad job,” he maintained.
That During their visit, they met a few members of the Kamboi Eagles Executive, journalists, and other well-wishers of the town, who also expressed disappointment with regards the manner in which the construction is being handled.
The Minister noted that the SLFA does not have the moral high grounds to question their visit and that besides, all 36 sporting disciplines including SLFA are under his supervision.
That the project was launched by the President Bio administration and could be seen as an embarrassment to the Presidency if the project is not completed within the stipulated time frame.