Isha Johansen is the first woman to contest for president of Sierra Leone’s Football Association but nine months have passed since FA members were to elect their new leader. The FA has not been able to vote due to infighting and interference by the Ministry of Sports. This led to FIFA setting up an interim body to handle the affairs of the FA until May 2013.
We caught up with Isha and her football team FC Johansen at the national stadium for a CAF Confederation Cup 2013 fixture. Although her heart’s still on the FA presidency, today its business as usual. The football entrepreneur had the nation’s support as her team went against Liberia’s Barack Young Controllers at the main bowl in Freetown. It was the final leg of the match between the two sides but BYC had a 1-0 lead over Johansen from an earlier game in Monrovia.
In the presidential stand spectators were a mix of the usual football fans and many who are not fans of the sport but support Isha’s team. Since Isha returned to Sierra Leone from the UK she has put her heart and money into setting up her very own football club. When she first started F.C Johansen back in 2004, few in the nation’s football industry took her seriously. She recalls that in the beginning it was simply an effort to help some of the disadvantaged youth in her neighborhood.