The Secretary General of the Liberia National Olympics Committee (LNOC) Joseph Willie has confirmed that Liberia would not participate in the 11th All-Africa Games, scheduled for September 4–19, in Brazzaville, Congo which also marks the 50th anniversary of the Games, as well as their return to Brazzaville, which hosted the first edition in 1965.
Mr. Willie said Liberia’s failure to participate is owing to a letter from the Ministry of Youth and Sports over financial constrain as it relates to the non-passage of the 2015/2016 Fiscal Budget.
The LNOC chief scribe told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview via mobile phone yesterday that Liberia was to join 53 countries and participate in two of 22 separate sports, which have been announced for the 2015 African Games, excluding the two additional disability sports, athletics and swimming.
“I have just received a communication from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, about the government’s inability to support our representatives to the Games due to financial constrains,” Mr. Willie said.
Mr. Willie said the LNOC has submitted a budget of about US$80,000 to the Ministry for the sponsorship of the Athletics and Boxing Associations.
Athletes that should have represented Liberia are boxers Freddy Jackson and James Yanken Ralley, while in athletics two locals and three foreign based Liberians – Anis Faraj and Abraham Harris (local), Kou Lougon, Phobay Akoi, Wellington Zaza and Udaya (US based).
However, the LNOC Secretary General clarified that the All-Africa Games is one of the qualifiers for the Rio 2016 Olympics, therefore Liberia could still be qualified if the two associations liaise with their international bodies about subsequent qualifying tournaments.
The All-Africa Games are held every four years, and organized by the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa. The Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) will take over the organization of the games after a meeting of the African Union (AU) Conference of Sports Ministers recommended the dissolution of the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa (SCSA).
All of the competing nations are from the African continent.