As preparations geared towards the commencement of the second leg of the Sierra Leone Premier League, the Premier League Board (PLB), in its many task to maintain high standards and ensuring the SLPL continue undeterred, on Thursday, 25th April, 2019 Organized a round table discussion on the integrity of the game with football referees, the Office of National Security (ONS) and the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) at the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) secretariat on Battery Street, Kingtom.
The round table discussion was held to help address the many officiating concerns put forward by the league’s participating teams which at some point caused mayhem in matches across different venues in the first round of the league.
In his brief statement, the chairman of the Premier League Board (PLB), Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai Esq said, the PLB is collaborating with the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), the Office of National Security (ONS) and the Referees Association in a bid to investigate and to prosecute any suspected case of match manipulation by referees and teams Officials in this second round of the Sierra Leone Premier League which may bring dispute to the game. He said the PLB under his leadership is ready to bring tangibles to the integrity of the game.
“Referees are a key factor to the peaceful end of any footballing encounter in the world, and it’s in that light we expect the best from them whenever”, he asserts.
Giving an overview of the Anti Corruption Commission, head of public education in the ACC, Mike Sesay said, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report, corruption was identified as a key factor that culminated to the eleven (11) years civil war which crippled Sierra Leone. He said the main functions of ACC are to prevent, eradicate and suppress any form of corrupt practices.
He called on all to join ACC in the fight against corruption in all facets of society which he highlighted football as no exception.
Deputy Director of Public Relations at the Anti Corruption Commission, Alhassan Kargbo, in his presentation, admonished the referees to be genuine in their jurisdiction in the pitch of play referencing their importance towards a cohesive end of the Premier League.
“The continuity of the Premier League depends on you referees”, he said
He further discussed on key issues ranging from the causes of corruption, and how Sierra Leoneans can help in it mitigation.
Over fifty (50) referees across the country were present in this high profile discussion. They expressed their satisfaction on the PLB’s prompt move to get the game going undisturbed while they vowed to give their best in ensuring a positive outcome in matches in the Sierra Leone Premier League.