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Page added on December 16, 2011

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Sierra Leone Premier League delayed in new row

Sierra Leone Premier League delayed in new row thumbnail

Sierra Leone’s Premier League has again been put hold, in the latest row between the government and the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA).  (Photo: A game featuring Sierra Leone side East End Lions was called off .)

The league has been suspended this time because of an outstanding bill for the use of the Freetown National Stadium.

The move coincides with the arrival of a Fifa official who is supposed to investigate the continuing dispute.

Sierra Leone have already been threatened with suspension because of government interference in football.

The unpaid debt amounts to $10,000 and the decision to suspend the league came just a day after the delayed competition had finally started.

Sierra Leone’s Premier League Board (PLB) instigated the move, even though it claims it is not in debt – because the arrears were incurred by a previous organisation.

The impasse is bound to affect the smooth running of the league because the National Stadium is the main venue for games.

It is host ground for the nine Freetown-based clubs, who make up a substantial part of the 14 Premier League teams across the country.

The stadium’s manager told the BBC that it would not be available for Premier League games unless the SFLA offsets the debt.

But an SLFA spokesman, Sorie Ibrahim Sesay, said his organisation was not responsible.

“The responsibility of running the league lies with the PLB not us – they should hold the PLB responsible, if they have proof of their claims,” he said.

By Mohamed Fajah Barrie, BBC Sport, Freetown

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