– Benedict Yarsiah, LFA director of competition/legal affairs
The director of competition and legal affairs at the Liberia Football Association, Benedict Yasiah has said that his passion for the development of football and the current president of the LFA, Mustapha Raji’s open policy has encouraged commitment to duty at the football house.
“Now everyone at the LFA is excited to work,” Yarsiah said in an interview with the Daily Observer last week Monday. “We are together and if there is any LFA president who has demonstrated his ability to get people working, Raji is the one.”
Mr. Yarsiah, who has worked at the LFA for the last 30 years, said he had a misfortune when he was suspended in the last administration for an issue that did not demand the harsh punishment he received. “Mr. Raji was aware of my commitment to duty and therefore when he won the leadership of the LFA, he asked me to come back.”
Yarsiah said being a lawyer, someone would say that he would be better to seek employment elsewhere that could give him the corresponding benefits, but he noted that he has a great passion for football and therefore he has chosen to work for the development of football.
“President Raji knows where I stand on integrity issues which is one of the major reasons I am convinced he asked me to return to the LFA,” he said.
A former FIFA referee, Yarsiah has seen the growth of many soccer players, including (President) George Manneh Weah when he played for Invincible Eleven before leaving for Cameroon. The development of the youths and for Liberian football to ascend to compete in continental games is Yarsiah’s most hopeful expectation.
Since the new administration came to power, like the rest of the employees, Yarsiah has been extremely busy. He traveled to Sanniquellie, Nimba County and other places to ensure that the six stadiums suggested for the national soccer league are up to the standard.
The stadia for the next LFA soccer league are Ganta, Buchanan, ATS, Bluefield, Kakata and North Star. “We are making sure that all league games are played at the same weekend,” Yarsiah said.
His expectations are for everyone to be transparent, work hard and show a level of honesty in developing football because Mustapha Rajis has shown the way.
“The sweeper at the LFA to those at the top are excited to work for the administration because employees have been paid and now owed the LFA. The benefits program is commendable. There is an employee of the month, every month that attracts at least U$50 to the winner and every employee carries home one back of the 25Kg rice,” Yarsiah said.
He said when workers are not hungry they devote their time to work productively. “That is the difference Mustapha Raji and his top men have done to the LFA and we commend them for that,” he said.
Yarsiah said he is unhappy with those who are demanding that President Raji and others who owned clubs in the league should resign their posts from their clubs. “This is not fair because it is a practice throughout Africa where FA presidents maintain their leadership roles in their clubs.
“The former Ghana FA, Nyantakyi owned a club in the Ghana league; the Gabonese FA leader has a club in the Gabonese league…Mr. Raji is not a man who will change decisions to favor his club…we should watch his decisions and judge him by them,” Yarsiah said.
He added, “No one seeks favors from President Raji and he has challenged every employee to give their best.”
As director of competition, he said the new LFA will ensure that the Super Cup will start on Feb. 24 and the National League will start on Fe. 27. “We are doing our homework so that soccer fans will enjoy their money’s worth,” he said.