The key to reconciliation for the new president of the Sierra Leone Football Association

Thomas Daddy Brima, new president of Sierra Leone Football Association

Sierra Leone Football Association FA (SLFA) newly elected president Thomas Daddy Brima said his immediate plan was to try to reunite the football family in his country.

“My immediate plan is reconciliation,” Brima told BBC Sport Africa.

“It’s an open secret that there have always been problems in Sierra Leonean football.

“At this point we are going to call for a retreat, we will make sure that all those who have been frustrated in one way or another come to express their grievances and we try to steer the right way forward.”

Brima is a new face at the top of the Sierra Leone football administration heading into Saturday, his only experience being as chairman of a second tier club, the Wilberforce Strikers.

He was also vice-president of Kissy All Stars when they were in the country’s Premier League and before that he also had a brief stint as a player with the Kakua Rangers, who have since become the Bo Rangers.

After his short playing career, he moved to the United States to study and earned degrees in business and politics.

He was one of five candidates who initially announced they would run for office earlier this year, but was not considered one of the favorites to lead the SLFA.

New Sierra Leone Football Association President Thomas Daddy Brima (left) shakes hands with defeated opponent Sadick Deen-Nyarkoh
New Sierra Leone Football Association President Thomas Daddy Brima (left) shakes hands with defeated opponent Sadick Deen-Nyarkoh

His chances were bolstered by the withdrawal of three other candidates including Johansen, who later backed Brima.

“Well, I wasn’t thinking of Isha Johansen supporting me in the elections. I spoke to her if the situation is so stressful to her, why can’t you, for the sake of Sierra Leone, step aside? He claimed.

“She’s a strong woman and so I discussed it with her, it was courage on my part because it’s hard to tell someone to step away from such a high position and she m ‘listened.

“Not only that, but she gave me her blessings and she told her supporters to support me and I am grateful to her for that.”

The businessman, a former teacher and the son of a former government minister, says he has been planning his strategy for more than a year.

“It was a long time coming. My strategy was in place and I knew I was going to be a force to be reckoned with,” he explained.

“I knew I was going to win as early as 14 months because I told a lot of people that I was going to be the next president of SLFA.

“Then six days ago when Johansen said okay she was stepping down from Thomas Daddy Brima, that was a confirmation of what I was thinking.”

Two other presidential candidates Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai and Rodney Michael, both former Premier League board chairmen, withdrew from the race and gave their support to defeated candidate Sadick Deen-Nyarkoh

Michael’s withdrawal came just a day before the election and despite a decision 24 hours earlier by the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturning the decision of the SLFA Ethics Committee to disqualify him from the competition.

Despite Deen-Nyarkoh’s defeat, he will remain on the SLFA executive committee to represent the southern region of the country.

The others elected in the polls were Harold Nat Johnson for the post of Vice President I while Ali Badara Tarawalie won the post of Vice President II without question.

Kwaku Lisk, Mohamed Sorie Jalloh and Ramatulai Kamara were elected ex officio members, Kamara winning the post reserved for undisputed women.

The elections were held in the presence of Zimbabwe’s FIFA official Solomon Mudege, who gave the process a high passing mark.

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