-Technical Director Henry Browne
Coach Henry Browne, who was was reappointed as technical director of the Liberia Football Association believes that the transparency and positive coordination that is encouraging dynamism at the LFA has brought teamwork at the football house.
In an interview with the Daily Observer last Friday in Monrovia, he said President Mustapha Raji’s administration wants to expand football throughout the country which is an initiative that deserves the support of the Liberian football populace.
“The president ensures that no football fan or administrator or player has any doubt of what he is doing at the LFA,” Coach Browne, said. “Therefore, no one should speculate about what is happening at the LFA because President Raji will provide information to anyone who wants it.” A mechanism is being worked out to provide financial information of the LFA to football stakeholders (clubs’ presidents).
He said the atmosphere at the LFA is cordial because Mr. Raji provides what they need to work with to be effective. “He is a technician. I am also a technician and therefore we understand the role of a technician in the administration of football,” Coach Browne said.
He said there a new sense of dynamism at the LFA where people are grateful to work with President Raji. “As we speak we have people at the 15 sub-political divisions of Liberia examining and doing an assessment of stadia in every county,” Coach Browne, said.
To also ensure that other counties take advantage of football development, Coach Browne said President Raji has decided that the next FA Cup will be held not in Monrovia, but in a different county yet to be decided since Liberia is not Monrovia.
He said Raji’s administration is focusing on both men’s and women’s football, to develop U-17, U-20 through regional competition and afterward would select their respective representatives to compete in CAF competitions.
“After the teams are selected,” Coach Browne said, “we would set period of time to train them as preparation for their participation in CAf and FIFA youth competitions.”
He said the technical department of the LFA is designing 3rd Division District Leagues but they will not draw the involvement of politicians so that the tournament would not be directed to win at all cost. “We will be developing talents for our junior national teams,” he said. “And we can be sure to see young and talented players that we would train to play for Liberia.”
He explained that presently, there are various departments at the LFA, including competition, referees, youth football development, among others that are geared towards improving football development in the county.
“President Raji is available at any time,” Coach Browne said. “And he has a way to get workers to do their job.” The enthusiasm for football development is high, Browne said. “Every worker is excited because they see President Raji excited also to get the job done.”
He regretted that due to the last administration’s financial indiscretions, Liberia is restricted on its use of funds from FIFA. “We are working on it and it is President Raji’s determination to ensure that the restriction is removed and, therefore, he has put in place a governance system that shows transparent transactions of funds at the LFA and that is what FIFA is looking for,” he said.
“President Raji understands the development structure of association football consistent with what is expected by CAF and FIFA and I want to encourage Liberian football fans and stakeholders that the administration does not encourage speculation. We don’t want they say this happened and they say that happened.
“Mr. Raji has decided that his administration will provide any information to anyone who wants it, including the media. Speculation does not develop the game; only when an administration is transparent in its dealings with those who are concerned about its activities,” Coach Browne said. He said instead of speculating that maybe something evil is being done at the LFA, he wants anyone interested in any information to approach the LFA in good faith.
“Contact us before making judgments about what we are doing at the LFA,” Coach Browne said. “We are in it together to develop football. There are challenges in Sinoe, Maryland, River Gee, and Grand Gedeh and therefore we are asking Liberians who have stakes in developing football to invest and join us.”
Before ascending to the LFA presidency, Mr. Mustapha Raji single-handedly managed two football clubs for more than 20 years, on his own resources. He paid his players through the banking system and also provided insurance for them. He believes in helping young players to travel abroad to improve on their financial standing to help their families and promote his country’s image abroad.