Elections set for this month
Sometime this month, soccer stakeholders will elect officials of the Liberia Football Association (LFA) to lead the development and promotion of the beautiful game for the next four years.
Stakeholders who have the gavel to determine Liberian football’s future are about 39 owners, leaders of the various clubs in the first and second division.
So in the search for leaders to occupy the presidency and the rest of the Vice President for Operations (VPO), Vice President for Administration (VPA), among others, stakeholders or those who are required to vote should have their own level measures to gauge any of the interested candidates’ level of competency.
Among the areas to be candidly examined are: the individual’s past contributions to football, players, coaches and others; present role in his administration, his relations with his players and coaches, and what could be projected as a result should the individual be given the chance to join the party.
For example, if an official of the current administration of Musa Bility wants to run, the same yardstick would have to be measured with him. What did he contribute to football? What about now? How does he relate to others, including players and coaches? Are his players and coaches speaking well of his style of administration? How open hand is he or how does the football community consider him?
And if for example, any club president wants to run for office, the same questions should be asked and honest answers reached. This is not the time to say, well though an individual has some poor human relations, he could be a different leader at the Liberia Football Association.
Stakeholders should be sincere. They must look at the various candidates with deliberate attention. This is also no time to overlook ineffective and poor human relations. If as club president he fires coaches at will, then he is a bad sport; if he holds on to coaches and players’ salaries because he is angry with them, then he does not fit for the job.
It is a fact that the current administration of LFA has done what it could for football but a recent report that US$600,000 was fraudulently presented to a FIFA Audit Team that was in the country recently does not speak well at all. The last time news about the event was reported the Liberia National Police had been invited to investigate the case.
Up to now, no further report has been announced. Even before that the LFA has its own internal investigation mechanism which was not used.
Another thing that stakeholders should consider is the poor state of female soccer. If you have had the chance to watch any of their games at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium, you will feel sorry for the girls. They have no support mechanism and many of the players are discouraged about this beautiful game.
Who is responsible for that? If and only if the current LFA is responsible for the poor state of women’s football, how in the world should any current official at the LFA want to convince any stakeholder to consider him for the job? In all probability, the LFA’s poor attitude to female football is and should be the responsibility of all and therefore they have shown by their apparent lack of inaction that they are not qualified or fit to seek another chance.
Consider again youth football. This sector is also one of the most neglected of the bunch. One time, the team had traveled to Abidjan, La Cote d’Ivoire and despite mounting promises; the LFA could not raise ‘per diems’ for the young players.
And as you will guess it right, the boys lost the match in Abidjan and it was clear that the LFA was not going to give the players “ROCK,” before they dreamed about liberty dollars. Out of their frustration, and this is where human nature can be at its worst, the players decided to seize or capture for ransom the head of the delegation and later use him as the bargaining chip to squeeze their ‘per diems’ from the LFA.
The head of the delegation, name withheld, got hint of the players’ action and upon reaching the Robert International Airport RIA), he ran with all his might to get into his vehicle and speedily left the vicinity of the RIA. The players nonetheless ‘captured’ the team’s jersey and deposited it somewhere in New Kru Town of all places.
The end result was that the LFA suspended the players for their action because they were not disciplined. How could anyone who is a member of the LFA now be considered for another chance? Stakeholders should not overlook these little things that are responsible for the sad state of Liberian football.