September 28, 2022

Ibrahim Nyelenkeh, the Minister of Sports, has assured the sporting fraternity that the government of President Julius Maada Bio will continue to give unflinching support towards the development of sports.
Making his statement, at the Atlantic Lumley Hotel in Freetown, on Wednesday September 9 2020, during the interaction session in the day-two of the two days (8th to 9th September, 2020) induction seminar, organized by SLFA for its newly appointed National Teams Coaches and Technical Staff, the minister said the entire process is a laudable one. “I think we are ready to change the narrative of football in this country,” he said.
“The Government support, I can say, is always unflinching. We, as a government, are always committed to see how best we can support not only football but also all the other sporting disciples. We, as a government, have made it mandatory to develop sports, which is why I am assuring you that, if you presented us with your budget earlier, we would make sure your demand is met. The problem with most of the Associations, that wanted to represent the country in international competitions, is that they submitted their budgets late,” Ibrahim Nyelenkeh stated.
“The president is passionate about sport, which is why, when I presented the NSA Board to him, he told them that they will receive his total support,” the Sport minister maintained, adding that “The NSA was created to ease the burden on the ministry. I am the political head, and the NSA is there working with the sporting disciples. They will no longer say political interference; they will not say the minister has interfered. Now it is left with the NSA and the Associations to work together.”
“Everything that has to do with the development of sports and recreation facilities is in the hands of the NSA. I am playing a role of oversight; the NSA is doing all the ground work and later forward everything to me for verifications,” the Sport Minister said.
He also said Government is serious to get other stadiums, but it will not be automatic and that, with time, they will upgrade and construct more stadiums.
Minister Nyelenkeh further appealed to politicians to never relate politics to sport, and that the country’s football is derailed by indiscipline and infighting.
“I have been following football since the days of Justice Tholla Thompson, Saramadi Kabba and Nahim Khadi. It’s the delegates that have the power. So anyone they want to lead them, let there be no interference by the Government or any politician. If we don’t stop politicizing the sporting sector, there will be no development in that area. We will only harm the youths, who have chosen football to be their career. So please let’s take away politics from sports. If we decide to put away our differences, and concentrate on mapping out the talents we have, nurture them, trust me, Sierra Leone will be one of the countries that is benefiting from its athletes,” he concluded.