Tribute to A Reformer of Liberian Football, Paul E. Mulbah

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The late Paul E. Mulbah, former LFA Chief of Operations

The recent death of the Liberia Football Association’s (LFA) former Chief of Operations (in the 1980s) did not come as a surprise, for Paul E. Mulbah had been ill for a while.

Mulbah worked at several places at certain times and served his country to the best of his ability; one area in which I remember his efficiency was after the 1980 coup d’état and President Samuel Kanyon Doe took over as the chairman of the LFA. Paul Mulbah was appointed as his Chief of Operations.

He joined vice chairman Willis D. Knuckles and they were faced with the challenge of reforming Liberian football. Until President Doe took over the chairmanship of the LFA, the national soccer league was then poorly organized.

Among other things, there were IE versus Barrolle encounters for charity organizations, and the two clubs never had the opportunity to contest in the CAF Competitions.

It was Paul, Knuckles and President Doe, along with several other sports administrators, that accepted the mantle to change the misfortune of Liberian football. Knuckles, as it has been noted over and over, put his managerial skills together. Both Knuckles and Mulbah began to reform Liberian football, since President Doe was willing to honor their requests.

Though Mulbah had once been president of Mighty Barrolle, his new role was to reform Liberian football and therefore he went to work. Knuckles was also said to identify with Barrolle but that did not matter.

Even President Doe was a fan of Mighty Barrolle but that also did not matter. The three men worked together and made sure that a regular league season was organized, the first in many years. The re-organization of association football, when CAF and FIFA rules were respected, identified or rather gave opportunities to many players, which included the George Weah generation.

Joining the reform was Sam N. Burnette, Jr., of blessed memory, for the man’s love for Invincible Eleven was beyond comparison. Burnette was always there for the Sunshine Yellow Boys, as Invincible Eleven’s players were and are known.

This administration ensured that there was a positive environment for the development of talented players and the process continued until Knuckles decided to leave the vice chairmanship position. Leaving the position, Knuckles established the SPORTS WORLD newspaper, with support from Mulbah and Eddie Dunn.

That newspaper and several others, including THE SPORTING LIFE and THE SPORTS CHRONICLE, took up the challenge to continue to provide information to the sports reading public about the activities of Liberian stars that had made it to Europe. The SPORTS WORLD provided employment for several young journalists, including the current minister of information, Eugene Nagbe.

Paul E. Mulbah loved soccer, and he made his contribution to the development of the players of his time. During his time, among the players who enjoyed the support of Paul E. Mulbah’s LFA, included:

James Salinsa Debbah, Zeogar Wilson, Momoh Blamoh, Pewou Bestman, Louis Crayton, Washington Blay, Solomon Joe, Mark Gibson, Friday Roberts, Frederick Cole, William Gray, Thomas Kojo, Waka Herron, Armah Baxter, Mass Sarr, Jr., Sarweh, Hallie Lahai, Benjamin Seydee (Roberto), Sam Yeboah, Tamba Barclay and Dominic Brapoh (Lucky Shango), among others.

Most of these players went on to play professional football in Europe. Their successes came from the trail blazed by Paul E. Mulbah and others that provided the opportunities for their careers in Europe and other places.

Of course, there had been many former sports promoters that history seems to have forgotten; but those who succeeded because of such promoters should not forget, because they too have the responsibility to lead the torch to help those coming up to follow.

Other hats worn by Paul E. Mulbah included Director, Liberia National Police (LNP); Director General, General Services Agency (GSA); Chief of Protocol, Republic of Liberia; Deputy Commissioner – Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization; Assistant Minister for Youth, Ministry of Labor Youth and Sports; Managing Director, National Housing Authority (NHA); President, Mesurado Group of Companies; Regional Director, United States Peace Corps.

Farewell PEM, you could not have done more than that and may the good Lord give you eternal rest till we meet again!

7 COMMENTS

  1. Why would any Liberian dare pretend to offer praise and pay tribute to Mr. Paul E. Mulbah knowing his rebel history in Liberia? When named, nominated and commissioned to the post of Director of Liberia National Police, Mr. Paul E. Mulbah, grew virtually wild and he became totally uncontrollable. Mr. Mulbah and his men are reported to have targeted and murdered innocent and unarmed Liberians at will. During the Taylor-led regime, men like Paul E. Mulbah publicly targeted and murdered poor and defenseless Liberians as if the determined hands of death would have never cornered Mulbah and knocked him off his feet and to the ground forever and ever. May the soul of Paul E. Mulbah and the souls of all killers in Liberia from 24 Dec 1989-2003 burn in anguish and everlasting hell!

    Paul E. Mulbah might have appeared as a saint to few Liberians, but to many well-intentioned Liberians, Paul E. Mulbah, was a devil and a determined violator of human rights.

    If I were Mr. Omari Jackson, I would have kept my song of praises and tribute for another day.

    • Cllr. Jayweh or whoever your name is, I supposed that you are a lawyer or a legal mind; if you think the late Paul E. Mulbah committed atrocities, you should have taken him to court and not “stand in the rain and cry for no one will see your tears.” Who are you to vilify a dead man? Paul served his country at so many levels not only at the LNP. Therefore, keep your opinion and hate to yourself and let the man soul rest in peace. He has returned to the Creator and if there is a God who judges people fairly, he will judge Paul E. Mulbah!

  2. A wise person once said, “Loyalty must arise spontaneously from the hearts of people who love their country and respect their government.”

    No doubt, Paul Elton Mulbah loved his country, Liberia. His devotion to serve his country during Liberia’s tumultuous years of civil unrest is a testament of Paul Mulbah love for his country and his respect for government.

    Paul had many opportunities early in his career to leave Liberia for greener pasture when he served in the 60s as Regional Director of the United States Peace Corps. However, Paul abundant love for country caused him to remain in Liberia where he went on to serve in many prominent positions under different leaderships.

    This loyal servant of Liberia weathered many storms just to serve his country.

    Paul, you will truly be missed! May your soul rest in peace.

  3. Thanks Mr Omari Jackson for an apt and appreciated tribute to Honorable Paul Mulbah, the football reformer, a role he had performed exceedingly well long before Mr. Charles Taylor ever thought of becoming President of Liberia. Needless to say, it is cowardly to make unsubstantiated malicious allegations after the demise of a person, obviously, not around to defend himself. Well, Paul, my former Barolle President, Rest In Peace until we meet again on the other side of River Jordan. And, you, poor perfidious Death, be not proud, the brother sleeps while transitioning to Heaven.

  4. Great piece. Uncle Paul was one dude if u known him as a Kid, he was always that uncle u wanted to talk to. My prayers goes to my good friend Knukkle Mulbah and the rest of the families members.

  5. Defferent individuals have different opinions about many people than other every other persons may have. But the best time to express these opinions, especially those that throws such dumping or condemning views of some ones life-history are better to be made why the person being condemn is alive. Like Mr. Sumo said, it would have been better for you to have forwarded your complain against Paul E. Mullah to the TRC instead of you waiting for him to die before you begin your judgements of him.
    Please Mr. Jayweh leave Paul with God. It is God who renders life’s final judgement. Let God do His work. As for me and those who knew Paul in a different way than in your view, let me joifn those expressing sympathy to his family and pray for his soul to to Rest In Peace with our Creator. May light perpetual shine on his soul in Jesus Name Amen!

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