The Ministry of Youth and Sports, with immediate effect, has suspended the activities of basketball in the country and referred the leadership crisis to the continental basketball governing body, Federation of the International Basketball Association, (FIBA)-Africa.
Deputy Sports Minister Henry B, Yonton, Jr., in a communication to the President of the Liberia Basketball Association (LBA) Rufus Anderson, dated Wednesday, April 1, mandated the LBA to halt election, which was scheduled for Tuesday, April 7, and urged the leadership to allow the intervention of FIBA to resolve the current leadership crisis.
“While we note the content of the letter with urgency, especially amid the ongoing disagreement between the basketball association’s leadership and the aggrieved stakeholders, we want to remind you of several efforts initiated by the Ministry at different levels to provide a level plain field to have accommodated all concerned…” Deputy Minister Yonton wrote.
He added: “However, owing to the continuous contest between the leaders of the LBA and the aggrieved party, regarding its legitimacy, the Ministry has reached a decision to seek the intervention of the Africa basketball governing body – FIBA-Africa with offices in Abidjan and Cairo.”
Yonton’s communication further told outgoing LBA president Rufus Anderson, “In view of the foregoing, the Ministry therefore requests that you adjourn all processes pertaining to the holding of election and advise further that you stay clear-off all basketball activities until further consultation with FIBA-Africa is concluded.”
The Ministry’s letters to the LBA and FIBA-Africa are in fulfillment to recent comments made by Youth and Sports to take “drastic and appropriate actions at the LBA to save basketball in the country.”
Youth Minister Nagbe at a recent congress of the Liberia National Olympic Committee expressed disappointed at the basketball leadership and aggrieved party in their roles in the current leadership crisis.
Meanwhile, Secretary General (LBA), G. Allen Goodridge, yesterday said the LBA has resolved to reserve all comments on the latest action by the ministry.
It may be recalled that since January 2015, the LBA has postponed its congress and election four times due to internal wrangling.
The Ministry’s letters have put to rest suggestions of an interim administration or a new leadership by the Liberia National Olympic Committee (LNOC) through the directive of the Ministry to run the LBA.