Amputee Lone Star’s International Coordinator Mr. Duannah Siryon of Minnesota, (USA), who was the brain behind the team’s current visit to the United States, has expressed disappointment with the team’s admission that its officials concealed the tournament’s cancellation information from officials of the Ministry of Youth & Sports.
In a telephone conversation yesterday, Mr. Siryon said the failure of the Liberia Amputee Football and Sports Association, (LAFASA) to inform the Ministry of Youth & Sports on “everything” that had to do with the trip, is disappointing and more so when his emails on the trip to the Ministry of Youth & Sports were ignored.
“If the Ministry of Youth & Sports had responded to my emails when the idea for the trip began and subsequent emails,” Siryon said, “we could have avoided what is happening now.”
He has therefore reached a decision to cancel his relations with the Amputee Federation of Liberia and direct his energies elsewhere.
Siryon’s decision stemmed from the admission by the Secretary General of the Liberia Amputee Football & Sports Association, Mr. Samuel Eastman that the association kept official communication about the cancellation of the then 4-nation tournament from the Liberian government.
Siryon expressed disbelief regarding the recent trip to the United States especially to learn that the team didn’t inform the Government of Liberia about the cancellation of the tournament in July 2014 because of Ebola.
Siryon who is yet to receive a reimbursement of over U$3,300 spent to represent Liberia during the World Amputee Games in Mexico last December, said as far he was concerned the Ministry of Youth & Sports officials, including Minister Eugene Nagbe should be aware of the circumstances of the trip since he copied him at every juncture.
He said amputee officials cut off communications with him, when it became clear that the trip was possible and therefore when the team arrived in Maryland, he was not in the position to coordinate accommodation for the team from Minnesota.
He told the team that America is a place, when coming in such numbers that need proper arrangement for accommodation which didn’t happen. “My hope was that since the Government of Liberia had promised to fund the trip, every communication regarding the trip should have been HONESTLY and TIMELY communicated to the Liberian government prior to your departure from Liberia.”
He expressed disappointment for the lack of proper coordination with Liberia Amputee Football and Sports Association, (LAFASA).
Meanwhile in a letter to Mr. Rick Hofmann, World Amputee Federation president on the issue, Eastman said they did not know that the tournament had been cancelled but Mr. Hofmann replied that he (Eastman) had acknowledged the cancellation with a reply in July when the decision was made, and wondered why Eastman was not being truthful.
Hofmann further said, “I have received a call from the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports in Monrovia. He is extremely upset and angry over the current state of affairs. He does not feel the delegation has been straightforward with the government which funded your trip. He said that although the original tournament was cancelled on July 23, he was told the tournament was cancelled only after the Delegation arrived here (USA).”
“We were also informed that the Liberian government paid more than $1,000 to have the tickets changed for your return to Monrovia yesterday. In one of your emails, Mr. Eastman, you said the travel agency needed more than $4,500 to change the tickets.
“The Ministry says it has recalled you. You, Mr. Eastman, say that your delegation has decided to stay – apparently against your government’s instructions.
“After that…several issues became clear – different people are saying different things about the same circumstances. There are many differing points view – most contradict the others. I have no clear way of knowing which statements are true and which are not.”