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Rodney Michael Says!

SIERRA LEONE PREMIER LEAGUE CLUBS scramble for CAF Nominations – a simple issue made complex!

There is no better tutor in the world than experience and common sense, and when one has both and is humble enough to consult and research, it is easy to make the right decisions.

Unfortunately inexperience, lack of consultations and inadequate research by the authorities running the Premier League and the FA has created an unnecessary storm amongst Premier League clubs.

There are even some serious allegations from some journalists, but in the absence of evidence it is best not to elaborate on them.

Every League globally has been seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Sierra Leone is no different.

Many countries have had to reschedule while others have been forced to cancel leagues due to bans on sporting activities by their repsective Governments.

Sierra Leone has fallen victim and as such the Premier League Board, whose responsibity it is to determine what should happen to the league, has decided to nullify the league and with no champions declared and no more games to be played.

The argument now is which teams should represent Sierra Leone in the continental competitions and this is where the Premier League Board has trespassed on the prerogative of the Executive Committee.

The responsibility to nominate teams to CAF competitions is solely that of the FA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, on the advice of the Secrerariat.

The Premier League Board’s role is to organise and manage the league in its entirety, and at the end of the League to inform the FA of the final outcome, and the positions of the teams; and of course to report on the administrative and financial activities.

Where the league is completed without hinderance, the nominations for CAF competitions is automatic, with the winner and runner up automatically earning the slots allocated to the country for the respective competitions.

But these are not normal times and the League called off has complicated issues.

Whereas France has opted to award the title to Paris Saint Germain (PSG), most countries who abdruptly cancelled the league have chosen either not to nominate teams to continental tournaments or to just nominate the leading teams at the time of cancellation. A really simple option one may say.

Well in our case it is not. For some reason and quite perplexing, the Premier League Board took it upon itself to consult clubs on Nominations without consulting the Director of Competitions at the FA for advice.

They erroneously offered the two spaces for the continents competitions to the top 6 teams in a lottery format, asking which teams were interested in nominations.

Unlike European Continental Competitions, where every team that qualifies will be rewarded with a huge financial gain, the African competitions is a major financial burden on participating teams, who all end up losing a lot of money.

Taking this into consideration, FC KALLON, EAST END TIGERS and EDWARDS cleverly declined to be part of the consideration, leaving the three desperate clubs, LIONS, BO RANGERS AND KAMBUI EAGLES, to battle it out for the 2 slots.

Ports Authority were ruled out on some flawed and illogical calculations.

This action by the PLB has caused an unnecessary embarrassment for the FA now, and has made the headline news on all sporting programmes around the country.

It is a simple issue and one which is solely the discretion of the FA EXECUTIVE on the advice of the Secretariat.

The best practice is at the time of cancellation, the teams occupying first and second spot should automatically be nominated if they meet the other criterias to be considered.

These other considerations inlcude but are not restricted to, financial capacity, adherence to CAF licencing regulations, playing capacity to name a few.

The clubs do not nominate themselves and in the event a club is nominated, and faulters to complete their matches for one reason or the other, it is the FA that is held responsible, as was the case with Lions and Military teams in recent years.

Stop the argument and debate. The decision is for the FA EXECUTIVE COMITTEE to make, and if they have opted to nominate teams, do best practice, follow the league table at time of cancellation and take into consideration the other conditions.

If done judiciously it will be easy to justify the decision.

An advice to the FA LEADERSHIP – do not play politics with sensitive issues!

I am a friend not a foe! I mean well!

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