Liberia: Mark Paye Risks Ban after Assaulting Match Official

Referee Moses Forkpah was carried off the pitch on a  stretcher after being assaulted by Paye (Photo: T Kla Wesley).  


FC Bea Mountain’s striker Mark Paye could face a year ban from all Liberia Football Association (LFA) activities after reportedly assaulting referee Moses Forkpah during the LISCR vs. Bea Mountain match at the Tusa Field on Sunday.

This came as a result of Paye’s refusal to use the nearest point after he was substituted, a behaviour that led to Referee Forkpa showing Paye his second yellow card of the game.

Referee Forkpa was eventually carried off the pitch on a stretcher by a medic after the incident. The match was discontinued after 81 unofficial minutes of play with Bea Mounted in a 2-1 lead. Paye received his first yellow card due to his shirtless celebration after doubling Bea Mountian’s lead in the second half.

According to Chapter 21, Article 2, Section 1.1 of the Orange National League Rules and Regulations, “Any player(s) or club official(s) who shall assault a match official(s) or LFA Official(s) before, during and/or after the match shall be barred from all LFA activities for one year and pay all expenses incurred by the match official or LFA Official(s) for the first offense; two years for the second offense, three years for the third offense and banned from all football for any further occurrence.

Paye’s fate will be decided based on the report that will be provided by referee Forkpah in his match report. Both Bea Mountain and LISCR went into Sunday’s game to battle for top position on the table, leveled on 10 points apiece in 3rd and 2nd positions, respectively.

Moments after Sunday's incident, Paye took to his social media page and wrote "Today the misconduct carried out by me out on the pitch was and is totally unacceptable. I’m very sorry for my actions against referee Moses Forkpah; I should have known better and always act in accordance with the laws of the game. I let my team down, the coaches, our fans, the referees association, the LFA and every sports lovers across our beloved country. I am sorry and yet still in regret of my unprofessional actions!! Let my actions be pardoned by our high soccer decision-maker as I’m in serious dismay of my behavior."

After a goalless first half, Bea Mountain broke the deadlock in the first quarter of the second half after striker Paye got a slick touch from forward Edward Ledlum’s shot into LISCR’s penalty area. Midway through the second half after LISCR tried to level the score, striker Paye got his second of the day to double the visitors lead to 2-0.

LISCR got a consolation with less than a quarter of an hour to play through defender Darius Kai, before the ugly incident occurred. A win for Bea Mountain would have taken them to second place on the table, a single point behind leaders Freeport, with an outstanding game to play against LPRC Oilers.

Based on the referee's report, Bea Mountain could also lose all three points as per Chapter 8, Article 5, Section 5.0 iii’ of the 2021-22 National League rules and regulations which states; “A club shall be punished with the forfeiture of a match when the player/club supporters initiate an act responsible for the abrupt end of the match."