The president of the Liberia Football Association, Mr. Musa Bility, has been re-elected to a four-year term as 1st Vice President of the West Africa Football Union (WAFU) and is been charged with the responsibility to ensure that football is commercialized in the sub-region.
Mr. Bility told sports journalists yesterday at LFA headquarters on Benson Street, Monrovia, that he was elected unopposed. The elections were held in Darkar, Senegal. He said following his return from the forthcoming FIFA Congress in Zurich, he would announce a major WAFU tournament that is expected to involve all 16 member countries.
He noted that the honor he received when he was elected unopposed justified the saying that “a prophet is not honored at his home.”
On FIFA elections, he said Liberia decided to support Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan because “Prince Ali shares our vision for global football and we want football to be felt everywhere.”
He said CAF’s support for a candidate for the forthcoming FIFA elections does not have any hold on Liberia and assured Liberians that whatever happens at the FIFA elections will not have any negative effect on Liberia’s relations with FIFA and CAF.
On government’s support to Liberia’s participation in the ongoing CAF Club competition, he commended the Liberian government and the Ministry of Youth & Sports, as well as the president of Nimba United FC, Mr. Adolphus Dolo, for working together to get the team prepared for the two-leg competition.
Mr. Bility said if Union Douala could score three in Liberia against Nimba United, the Liberians can do the same against them in Cameroon.
He said progress is being made on the national league and expressed satisfaction with LFA’s support to teams in the national league, and support for female clubs.
“We’ve decided to give US$5,000 each to all the female teams in our league, along with jerseys and boots; our first division teams receive L$100,000 each and second division teams receive L$50,000,” Bility said. Though he admitted it is not enough, “we are making these to support the development of our game.”
He revealed that the national team, Lone Star, will have two matches next month and efforts are underway to ensure that the team gets maximum support.
Mr. Bility spoke on LFA’s suspension of sports journalist Dinesius Martel, who reportedly made some “derogatory” remarks against soccer icon, Senator George Manneh Weah, on a Fabric Radio Show recently.
“We’ll not tolerate any insults on the character of soccer icons and soccer officials and every sports journalist who wants to go that way will meet our anger,” Bility said. He warned sports journalists not to heap insults on sports personalities because they will be held accountable for what they say, either in print or on the radio.
Bility said the LFA took the decision because Mr. Martel has said he is not a member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL) and therefore the LFA did not know what organization to complain Mr. Martel’s “numerous” misconducts to.
He meanwhile called on sports writers to regularize their membership with SWAL since those who are not accredited by SWAL will not be allowed to attend games organized by the LFA.
Meanwhile, veteran sports journalist Omari Jackson has announced that he will consult with the LFA and Mr. Martel for an amicable solution to the decision against the journalist.