The Liberia National Handball Association (LNHA) says it supports the Ministry of Finance’s decision not to waste USD151,000 requested by the Liberia National Olympic Committee, (LNOC) for the Brazil Olympic Games.
In a release, a copy of which was sent to the Daily Observer late yesterday, the LNHA said, “We know that the presence of Liberia in Brazil will be fruitless,” because LNOC vice president for technical affairs, Malcom Joseph, “has already termed the Brazil Olympics as ‘political Olympics.”
Signed LNHA president Mason Saweler, the LNHA said the interest of Liberia should be above every consideration. “The government needs to put money where the impact will be felt by everyone. The training of our athletes to compete and bring glory and honor to our country should be the priority and not to satisfy individuals…to bring dishonor to our country,” Saweler said.
The LNHA said for four years the LNOC has not done much to prepare Liberian athletes for competitions and therefore, with support from other federations, the LNHA termed the request by the LNOC to request USD151, 000 as unrealistic.
The LNHA said according to the International Olympic Committee, (IOC), Liberia does not have qualified athletes and therefore Liberia will only go to Brazil Games on a Wild Card (Invitation), that will be issued to the LNOC.
“The Wild Card underwrites traveling, lodging, feeding and accommodation expenses for the LNOC to witness the events as a member of the IOC,” the LNHA said.
It said it was based on the same arrangement that Liberia went to the London Games in 2012, “with money changers which resulted in a shame to the country.”
The LNHA recalled that during the recent acquaintance conference held with Sports Minister Charles S. N’tow, at the Olympic Village, LNOC President Browne informed the minister that Liberia does not have qualified athletes for the Brazil Olympic Games, “because there is no training or playing facilities and competitions to qualify our athletes.”
The LNOC has failed to institute programs to empower federations and associations to train athletes for local and international competitions, Saweler charged.
The LNHA said the current leadership of the LNOC has deceived the Liberian people and has mismanaged the LNOC facilities and as a result the LNHA is calling on all Liberians who love sports to join its advocacy for a new leadership in the LNOC.
In the 2012 Olympics in London, Liberia went to the Games with a ‘money changer’ someone who reportedly influenced the selection with money, who could not compete when the time came.
The LNHA’s advocacy against the LNOC was due to what it described as ‘interference’ in its affairs, when the LNOC does not have any right to do so.