It’s strange for leadership crisis to affect five sporting associations and this has greatly affected athletes and the administrations involved.
It’s no secret that sports is about leadership, whether it comes from athletes, coaches or owners.
Basketball, once the fastest-growing sport in the country, is suffering administrative meltdown owing to confusion, while Cycling, Tennis, Volleyball and Canoe and Rowing are also in trouble.
The legality of the leadership and the national league of the Liberia Basketball Association have been subjected to the Civil Law Court since Monday, April 4, 2016.
It followed a petition filed on April 1 by the aggrieved party, represented by Calvin Diggs of Flames, Malcolm W. Joseph of Cestos Mogars and Ali Sylla of D. Rock against the LBA represented by President Rufus Anderson and the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
The aggrieved party said the recent elections that brought Mr. Anderson to power were illegal, because they were held under secrecy and against the constitution.
Many believed that the Liberia Tennis Association died in 2012 along with Prof. Harold J. Monger when he passed away.
Since Monger’s death the association has been engulfed with legal battles by John F. Dexter Puieyon, its Secretary General.
In 2013, Mr. Puieyon and other members of the executive committee argued that LTA’s Vice President and Acting President, businessman Hussein S. Cheaitou, could be President because of his nationality.
An Arbitration Committee (Liberia National Olympic Committee) ruled that the Association’s Constitution and By-laws are ambiguous on who is qualified, based on nationality, to contest the presidency.
Arbitration Committee Chairman Cllr. Sylvester Rennie said there was no article or clause to “stop” Cheaitou from contesting for any position.
However the committee’s position brought more legal injunctions.
In October 2014, there was finally election and a 5-man leadership with Mr. Adolphus Wade, President; John Wolo, Vice President and John P. Dexter, Secretary General among others.
Currently, the leadership is in court for “alleged criminal activities.”
More than 15 cyclists – voting athletes – have cast their “vote of no confidence” in the current leadership of the Liberia National Cycling Association (LINCA), under the headship of Jerry Freeman.
The athletes say Mr. Freeman has been the President of the association for over six years and therefore, want elections and none of the parties wants to back down, threatening legal actions.
Canoe and Rowing
Mr. Weaka Peters, 67, still remains the President of the Liberia National Canoeing and Rowing, but his leadership has been questioned by some athletes, who want an election.
“Boxing association needs change in leadership,” Henry Flomo – a former athlete said.
Many of the athletes, including other club presidents, have urged the Ministry of Youth and Sports to help overcome the leadership crises that are crippling their associations.