County Meet Funds for Bong, Sinoe Teams Did Not Reach Players

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Youth and Sports Minister D. Zeogar Wilson's leadership in the National County Sports Meet 2019 is commendable

-Sports Minister Wilson: “Going forward, we will not give money to just any sports official.”

The Minister of Youth and Sports, D. Zeogar Wilson and his deputy, Andy Quamie, over the weekend expressed their utmost disappointment on some county authorities’ alleged deliberate abandonment and neglect of teams at hotels and their refusal to pay their players’ benefits due them.

While on the Truth Breakfast Show, the two top executives of the Ministry said in as much as it is true that the tournament has its success story it will be unfair to close their eyes to the wrongs that occurred, mainly due to some ‘neglect’ from officials of the various counties who should have helped settled the embarrassments that unfolded.

Touching on one of the cases in which a county team was abandoned at a hotel, Deputy Minister Quamie said Sinoe County kickball team could not have left the hotel they were lodged had Commerce Minister Wilson Tarpeh not intervened to pay over US$1600 for the time they stayed there and some other amount for travel and stipends.

Also touching on Bong County Sports Association’s alleged failure to pay their players’ benefits due them Minister Wilson said a sports’ official of Bong went to the Ministry of Youth and Sports before the kickoff of the County Meet and signed for US$12,000 for the county’s preparation but the money was not used for the intended purpose.

He said the Ministry still looks forward to receiving comprehensive reports from all county sports associations as their reports will be part of the Ministry’s official report to the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning in order for them to justify that they properly spent the US$250,000 given them for the county meet.

“Going forward, we will not give money to just any sports official. The Superintendent of each county and officials will be involved. The experience of the players of Bong County not getting any money from the US$12,000 is a bad experience,” he said.

He said it is his wish that superintendents across the country will put in place proper mechanisms to ensure that money meant for the county sports teams is safe.

He said the county authorities of Bong have already suspended those who are yet to account for the money received from the Ministry and it is hoped that that serves as a precedent. The Daily Observer could not get any confirmation of the case with any Bong County Sports Official.

Minister Wilson said the county sports meet is not for profit making and as such the Ministry takes no interest in raising money from gate intakes. He added that the Sports Meet is a national event to bring people together.

“We did not even sell tickets for the VIP side of the field. What we seek is sponsorship,” he said, adding that the Confederation of African Football (CAF), and the Federation International Football Association (FIFA) don’t raise the money they need for their works through gate intakes but sponsorship.

Of the US$250,000 that the government gave for the hosting of the tournament, Minister Wilson said US$186,000 went to all the counties, with each receiving US$12,000.

“The host county received a little more and after distributing the amounts to the counties as it should have been we were left with only US$64,000 to work with. The sponsorship we got from others, mainly the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment helped to boost the momentum of the County Meet,” he said.

He said considering the various sports and the success of the tournament, US$500,000 or US$750,000 will be the amount needed to make the holistic impact on the tournament.

He said each county needs at least US$25,000 to adequately support its teams in the competition.

The LBDI on Thursday, January 17 gave in cash L$1.2 million promised to all the winners of the various competitions of the tournament.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Why are you sending players’ money to lawmakers or leaders of the counties in the first place? Why you will not pay the players directly? Corruption everywhere my people!!

  2. County meet has been in existence since “Charlie King” time and the Ministry of Youth and Sports still speculating on how much is needed to adequately sponsor the tournament? This conclusion is deduced from the minister’s remarks amongst other things, that each county may need “at least US$25,000 to adequately support its teams in the competition.” This shows the laziness, if not incompetence of our sports officials again. Any thinking people would have by now a template of how much it costs to host this league including the cost of bus rentals, hotels, food, stipends, etc. for each team plus all the other associated cost for the duration of the league adjusted to inflation. Of even more concern is the portion of the budget that stays with the ministry. A whopping $64 grand! One fourth of the total outlay for the tournament. For what? Printing tickets? Stipends for match officials? And what else? I got it! Hotel bills for ministry and county officials as well, right? And please make public the total gate intake for the tournament. That should form part of the “comprehensive report” too. And by way of suggestion Mr. Minister, don’t you think the development of these county teams should be an all-year thing and not just a January exhibition? Let me be a little personal here with you, Minister Wilson. People like you, who came from a humble background and came up the hard way but luckily and by the grace of God became successful in life, should be duty-bound by the law of blessing or humanity, to now look back and extend those blessings to others too, by availing them of opportunities that were closed or near-impossible for you. That way you shall have tried your best and made some difference. We are aware you will not be able to solve all the ills associated with sports in Liberia, as the case may be, but please old man, just try your best. One last thing before I let you go sir, how about prevailing on your bosses to erect one modern indoor sports complex in Monrovia? Imagine the windows of opportunities that would open for Liberians? Additionally, sports in Liberia should not only entail football (soccer) and its derivatives as we saw in the just ended county meet. How about building basketball courts, tennis courts, introducing table tennis, introducing and organizing chess tournaments, scrabble, etc., etc? All these activities could help in some ways in redirecting the attention of our youths from politics to those pursuits, don’t you think? Think about it, Mr. Minister. Thank you.

  3. This is complete greed and misappropriation of funds on the part of the minister and sports officials. Zoegar Wilson is now looking for money to enrich himself and buy a new house in America. A man coming from Jersey leaving in townhome becomes a minister managing thousands of dollars with no education and experience. Our country is in a mess. The minister should be held accountable for the money to the two countries or maybe more.

    • Mr peal, why are you holding Minister Wislon responsible instead of the officials of Bong and Sinoe Counties who had signed for the funds oh behalf of their respective counties. I believe you might have a personal agenda against the minister, because what you are saying make no sense.

      • I don’t have anything against this man. The fact is that he should be an experience professional should not allow this to happen. Loved in America for so long and to see this happening, makes us in the USA to ask critical question about his management skills. To allow individuals to come from 2 countries, without identification and sign for money is indeed worrisome. Without check and verification put our country financial institutions at risk

  4. Mr. Joshua Peal, just so you know I am a graduate from the University of Liberia, Magna Cum, with Bsc in Economics and a Msc in Information Systerms Management from Holy Family University in Northeast Philadelphia. The rest of your comments I will not dignify because they demonstrate your ignorance and lack of reading comprehension.

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