The Ministry of Youth and Sports has announced a radical reduction of participants in the 2015 Intra-Governmental Tournament and extended regret to barring other public institutions.
The MYS has cut the participating teams from 22 to eight in each discipline as well as dropped volleyball.
MYS says the eight public institutions, which reached the quarterfinals in the 2014 Intra-Governmental Tournament in the football and kickball editions are automatically qualified to participate in the 2015 Special Intra-Governmental Tournament in celebration of the country’s victory over the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
The Intra-Governmental League, formerly Inter-Ministerial League, is a tournament that brings together all line ministries, agencies, public corporations and other branches of government together through various sporting disciplines.
Deputy Sports Minister Henry B. Yonton, Jr., said the low participation of governmental institutions in this year’s tournament is mainly owing to budget cut as well as the lack of sports facilities in the country.
He said only football and kickball would be played while the lack of facility has led to volleyball to be dropped.
The multi-purpose SKD Sports Complex where most international games and national games are played is currently under renovation by the People’s Republic of China.
Minister Yonton named some of the participating teams in the football category as defending champions Ministry of Youth and Sports, Liberia Broadcasting System, the Legislature, Judiciary, and the Ministry of Defense.
Some participating teams for the kickball version include defending champions Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of State, Legislature, Judiciary and the Forestry Development Authority (FDA).
Deputy Yonton said the Special Intra-Governmental Tournament has been tentatively scheduled from Thursday, July 9 to Saturday, July 11. He said the games would be played either at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) or the BYC’s Blue Field.
He said the MYS would seek sponsorship for the three-day reduction and has urged business institutions, like the Liberia Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Club Breweries, GSM and mineral water companies to take advantage of advertising their products, which would bring together over 1,000 civil servants.
It may be recalled, on Friday May 2, 2014, Ministry of Youths and Sports narrowly whipped LBS to lift the golden trophy, courtesy of Liberia’s former international midfield maestro, Kevin Sebwe.
In the kickball version, MYS overcame the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs by 11-5 to walk away with the coveted prize.
In the volleyball category, MYS lost all three sets to the National Port Authority (NPA).
However, the host went on to lift the football trophy after a narrow 1-0 win over the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS), thanks to a lone goal from former Liberia international midfield maestro, Kevin Sebwe.
Last year, MYS made history by reaching the grand finals in the three traditional disciplines (football, kickball and volley) of the Intra-Governmental League. The Ministry won two of the three finals and lost in volleyball.
Will history repeat itself with the presence of Captain of George Weah of the Legislature?