The Ambassador was speaking at a press conference convened on Friday 30th January during his official visit to the SLFA Secretariat – the first official visit of an Ambassador in the history of the SLFA.
“Sierra Leone stands a better chance of becoming a brighter footballing nation under her current president, Lady Isha Johansen, whose international clout cannot be modulated and her integrity would make the incredible possible for Sierra Leone football development,” said the Swedish Ambassador, who also covers Guinea, Senegal, Ivory Coast and The Gambia.
The Ambassador expressed his satisfaction over the performance of Sierra Lenean players in the Swedish leagues; referencing the Bangura’s as an example. He announced that he will facilitate the country’s Under 15s participation in this year’s Gothea Cup competition adding also that he will create avenues for exchange programs including training of coaches and football administrators in Sierra Leone.
Earlier in her welcome address, the SLFA president said she was gratified by the visit while explaining also that the Ebola situation has created a negative impact on the development of youth and female football in the country. She heap praises on the Swedish government for their continuing support to Sierra Leone in the fight to eradicate Ebola in the country and its neighbours.
“Sierra Leone will emulate the successes of Sweden especially in their women’s teams’ successes. We will surely rise again after the Ebola situation has been normalized and the State of Public Health Emergency rescinded,” the FA president said.
Sir Arne Johansen, Consul for Norway and Sweden in Sierra Leone said Swedes are modest people who also try to help wherever they can. He noted that he had no doubt that the new Ambassador will open up opportunities for effective collaboration between the two countries and the two FAs.
Sweden has the highest number of Sierra Leonean players abroad and the visit of the highest Swedish official in the West Africa sub region could be described as “a step in the right direction”. Football pundits are optimistic that the Ambassador’s visit is a stepping stone to opportunities abroad for the new generation of players in the country.
The program was climaxed with a conducted tour of the SLFA Secretariat and facilities before the Ambassador’s entourage have lunch with the SLFA Executive Committee members and staff.