The postponement of the football and kickball quarter-finals in the 2013/2014 National County Meet from Sunday, January 5th to Sunday, January 12th has been greeted with uncompromising reaction with stakeholders, describing the deferment as an extra and unnecessary burden.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports, through the Organizing Committee, headed by Deputy Sports Minister Dionysius Sebwe a week ago postponed the quarter-finals, owing to the volume of protests.
Chea Wleh of Sinoe County said the postponement of the County Meet should have been accompanied with a little compensation to assist the teams camp their players, an assertion which was buttressed by Joshua Sendolo of Nimba, Augustine Tokpa of Bong County and Wlemongar Dee of Grand Bassa County.
All efforts to contact Deputy Minister Sebwe via mobile phone about the Counties’ appeal amidst the deferral of the football and kickball editions proved futile up to press time yesterday.
Reports gathered said the 4-day preliminary rounds of the 2013/2014 National County Meet, which ran from Saturday, December 14 to Thursday, December 19 was marred by protests.
In Sinoe, Gbarpolu and Rivercess County filed protests against host Sinoe for the fielding of an illegal player, Boye Bailey.
The ORD Kareem Nyanneh’s Protest and Grievance Committee has dismissed the validity of the protests for lack of evidence and procedural errors.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, organizers of the event, has announced the immediate expulsion of five players from the Bong County Volleyball Team for acts incompatible with the spirit and intent of the tournament.
Prior to the commencement of a volleyball match scheduled between Bong and Grand Gedeh Counties on December 22, the five Bong County volleyball players: Richard Kollie (captain), Moses Mcquoi, Emmanuel Kollie, Avenso Mulbah and Zaza Mulbah, were involved in acts of violence, including an assault on the match commissioner, obstructing a sports program sponsored by the Government of Liberia.
Players Richard Kollie and Moses Mcquoi assaulted the match commissioner and forcibly took away his file containing information of players participating in the volleyball event. Alvenso Mulbah and Zaza Mulbah pulled down and seized the volleyball net at the SKD Sports Complex gymnasium, venue of the game, while Emmanuel Kollie slammed the match officials’ desk and took away documents.
As a result, the referenced players are banned from participating in all activities of the National County Sports Meet for a period of one year. Each of the expelled Bong County volleyball players has been fined US$200.00, consistent with Article 15 sub Section 17.5 of the rules and regulations of the tournament.
Additionally, Bong County has been fined US$1,500 in line with Article 18.0 sub-section 20.1 of the rules and regulations. All fines are to be paid before the county’s next scheduled volleyball game.
Meanwhile, the ministry has endorsed the indefinite suspension of Coach T. Julius Itoka, II of Grand Cape Mount County by the Liberia Kickball Federation from participating in all matches of the 2013/2014 National County Sports Meet.
Coach Itoka assaulted the umpire of the December 15, 2013 kickball game between Margibi and Grand Cape Mount Counties.
At the same time, the Ministry of Youth and Sports has advised all participants and other stakeholders to refrain from acts that may undermine the spirit of the tournament, as the games are intended to promote peace, especially as we celebrate 10 years of peace.