The President of the Sierra Leonean Football Association (SLFA) Isha Johansen has been elected into the Fifa Council following a wide-margin triumph.Johansen defeated Burundian Lydia Nsekera, who had held the position since 2013, by 28 votes to four during the Caf General Assembly held in Rabat on Friday.
She becomes the primary West African woman elected into the council and therefore the first Sierra Leonean to hitch the 37-person team.With her victory, the 56-year-old will join Nigeria's Amaju Pinnick, Egypt's Hany Abou Rida, Morocco's Fouzi Lekjaa, Mali's Mamoutou Toure and Benin's Mathurin De Chacus as African representatives within the leadership of the planet football administration .
Before the polls, Johansen, who also doubled as Caf Executive member , had shared her ambition for the Fifa council seat.“I am truly humbled and excited about what the longer term may have future on behalf of me and my continent in terms of worldwide football governance," she told the media."My desire is to play a task in ensuring that our womenfolk are empowered as a force permanently governance and football development."
For Isha Johansen, a journey that began by helping to offer kids displaced by war a semblance of a traditional childhood, has led her to become the primary West African woman elected to the council of soccer's world administration , FIFA."The narrative about Sierra Leone was child soldiers," Johansen tells CNN Sport's Alex Thomas.
"Really gruesome details about what happened during the war."I thought that through the language of football and therefore the power of football, I could possibly change that narrative."As a official Johansen has already had an eventful career -- she's the long-serving president of the Sierra Leone Football Association after her election in 2013.
During that point she's had to affect Ebola, Covid-19, panic attacks, imprisonment -- on corruption charges she was subsequently cleared of.In a historically male dominated industry, it hasn't been a simple ride.It was in 2004 that she found out F.C. Johansen to assist children on Freetown's streets."I didn't realize the political structures," she recalls. "I didn't know what it had been to create a career as a football administrator to becoming an FA president or anything like that, including FIFA.
"These were just displaced kids as a results of the war within the neighborhood, and every one I wanted to try to to was to urge these boys off the streets in the dark , get them reception where they ought to be, get them off the streets within the morning and through the day, put them in class where they ought to be.
"For me, it had been very obvious that they lived and dreamed for his or her football ... in order that was my focus, and this was all i used to be about."She contends her resilience is right down to her growing up with brothers during a world where a female must fight for an area .
"You know that business you are a girl you are not getting to play football with the boys," she says."You're not getting to be where we are. you are not getting to leave night clubbing with us. you are not , you are not , you can't, and that i was always I can, I can, and that i will."
Such persistence has now led Johansen to the highest table in world football, together with her election to the FIFA council."Our story is different, our time is now," Johansen says. "If you dream it, you'll be it, and despite the challenges and despite our cultural settings that do not enable women to realize to the extent they need to, they will actually roll in the hay ."I've been told that I'm an idea and that i believe that i'm because i'm case in point that if you think in it strongly, you really are able to do it."