Two of the country’s corporate entity 1st division football clubs, LPRC and Monrovia Club Breweries have to wait until probably May 2016 to participate in football activities following dismissals of their appeals by the Appeal Committee of the First Instant Board. The LFA banned the two clubs from all football competitions for failing to meet-up with the minimal requirements of the CAF Club Licensing System.
The three-member committee, comprising of the LFA two vice presidents, Musa Shannon and Cassell Kouh as well as Atty. Medina Wesseh, also rejected the appeals of 2nd division clubs, Small Town and Mighty Dragon FCs.
The Committee also did not grant the four clubs provisional clearances that could have enabled them to participate in the league.
Chairman Shannon in an exclusive interview yesterday at the LFA said the committee is upholding the ban owing to insufficient evidence against the appeal.
Shannon said though it was deeply regrettable to deregister high-flying clubs, it was prudent to implement the CAF Club Licensing Regulations.
He said the clubs also failed to provide new evidence against the decision.
“It’s with heavy heart that the committee has rejected the appeals of the four clubs and the decision has been forwarded to the LFA President Bility,” Mr. Shannon said.
About a month ago, the chairman of the First Instant Board, Ansu Dorley, announced the disqualification of seven clubs – two 1st division and five 2nd division – from participating in the 2014/2015 LFA League for falling short in the CAF Club License.
Dorley said the teams failed to meet-up with the minimal requirements to include an Article of Incorporation (AOI), an office space, list of personnel, including a medical doctor as well as an ownership letter of a practice pitch (which can jointly be owned by at most four clubs) and hiring of at least a “B” license coach amongst others.
Besides the debarment of those clubs, four clubs have been given provisional licenses to take part in the LFA League up to May 30, but would be disqualified if they fail to settle the full requirements.
Those clubs include, two 1st division teams, IE and Keitrace FC and 2nd division clubs Conquerors and Sesay FCs.
However, the eight certified 1st division teams include: BYC I, FC Fassell, Nimba United, Aries, LISCR FC, Watanga FC, Jubilee FC and NPA Anchors; while qualified 2nd division teams are: Mighty Blue Angels, Barrolle, ELWA United, Gardnersville FC, BYC II and Holder FC.
Secretary General B. Alphonso Armah said the Club Licensing Regulations dates back to 2007 when its principles were accepted at the 57th FIFA Congress.
The FIFA Executive Committee then adopted it on 29th October 2007 and it came into force on 1st January 2008.
Accordingly, the LFA Chief Scribe said the continental football governing body, CAF and the LFA entered into the implementation agreement in 2008. The actualization didn’t realize since 2008 and was greeted by the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.
“It’s compulsory of the LFA to enforce the implementation of the CLR not to be excluded from continental competitions,” Mr. Armah said.