Liberia Football Association (LFA) President Mustapha Raji is currently in Zurich, Switzerland to hold discussions with FIFA president Gianni Infantino about issues surrounding football development in Liberia and financial sanctions imposed by FIFA on the past administration of the LFA.
According to report, the LFA president made the meeting appointment with the football world governing body president during the Confederation of African Football (CAF) 12th Extraordinary Congress held on September 30, 2018, in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm El Sheikh — his first CAF special sitting.
Mr. Raji, along with LFA Vice President for Operations, Wilmot Smith, arrived in Zurich on Monday, October 22.
After his white ballot election on September 9, 2018, Raji promised to do his best to ensure that football develops at all levels in the country.
Earlier this year, FIFA restricted funding to the LFA and was nearing to takeover the FA’s finances after audit showed that officials from the LFA mismanaged football development funds intended for the country.
According to local media report, Independent auditors commissioned and sent to Liberia by FIFA issued an adverse opinion after an audit of the LFA, concluding that its review clearly established that the spending of development funds within LFA showed irregularities, which needed further action.
During their meeting on 8 March 2018, the FIFA Audit and Compliance Committee decided to suspend funding to the Liberia Football Association until further notice. The decision was based on the findings of the review performed by Control Risks into the usage of development funds, the LFA was told in a letter from Zurich.
“In light of the decision, Liberia Football Association will not receive funding until there has been an evaluation of the remedial actions. All expenditures of FIFA funds already received can only be spent by written consent of the FIFA administration.”
Later, in a letter dated June 25, 2018, FIFA again reinforced its position. “In light of adverse results identified in the final report received from the independent auditors, the Audit and Compliance Committee has decided that the release of development funding to your member association is to be restricted.”
Since Raji’s ascendency as president of the LFA, there have been some level progress made at the local football house and the national league; a progress that has been embraced by Liberian football followers.
In another development, LFA General Secretary, Emmanuel Deah is currently in Windhoek, Namibia, attending the first-ever GS Academy Seminar.
The seminar which commenced on Monday, October 22, was organized by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in partnership with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and will end on Friday, October 26, 2018.
The event is concerned with the improvement of governance and capacity building. It was prescribed by the CAF Executive Committee directed to the permanent staff of Zonal Unions and CAF member Associations, in order to equip them with tools to enable to improve their performances.
According to CAF General Secretary, Amr Fahmy, CAF developed the “GS Academy” Project, in partnership with UEFA through the UEFA Assist Program, as a pilot initiative for General Secretaries of Member Associations of CAF.
“Based on the identified needs, an adaption of the contents of the programs of the Matters in Football Management (MFM), organized by the University of Lausanne in collaboration with UEFA was carried out” Fahmy said.