World Football governing body (FIFA) and the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) were among the first set of international bodies to send in consolatory messages to the government and people of Sierra Leone after the mudslide and flooding disaster that hit Freetown on Monday August 14, claiming more than 300 lives and rendering thousands homeless and destitute.
In a letter dated August 15 and addressed to the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) President, Madam Isha Johansen, FIFA President, Gianni Infantino said: it was with great sadness that they (the world football family) learned of the tragic mudslide of last Monday, which caused the death of hundreds of people and destroyed the lives of thousands more.
“On behalf of the international football community, I would like to join you in expressing my deepest sympathies to the families of the victims, the injured and those still missing, as well as my solidarity with the people of Sierra Leone at this time of great mourning. Our thoughts are with all of the families and communities.
“We hope that, in some way, our words of support may help bring them a little peace and solace in this time of sadness,” Gianni Infantino lamented.
In another letter that same day, the President of the Confederation of African Football, Ahmad Ahmad kindly requested the SLFA President to convey his message of commitment and solidarity to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and to also confirm that they (the Africa football family) shared that great pain and moments of prayer and grieve of the population of their brother country and friend.
“At the time when the people of Sierra Leone are sorely hit in the flesh by mudslides and landslides resulting in hundreds of deaths, I would like on my behalf and on behalf of the family of African football to express my total solidarity and my overwhelming sense of sadness to the government and people of Sierra Leone,” Ahmad Ahmad grieved.
The Sierra Leone government has announced a week mourn with all flags in public places flown at half mast while the SLFA has requested every team participating in the National Women’s Championship in Kono and Makeni Cities to wear black armbands and observe a minute of silence in every match.
Copyright 2014 The Sierra Leone Football Association.
Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being giving to the Communications Desk of the FA as source.