LNHA Denounces LNOC Leadership

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The Executive Committee of the Liberia National Handball Association has denounced the administration of Liberia National Olympic Committee, (LNOC) president Phillipbert Browne and has announced ‘vote of no confidence’ in his leadership.

In a statement, dated March 22 to the LNOC, a copy of which is with the Daily Observer, the LNHA said Browne administration has made nine violations and therefore it is time for a new leadership.

The statement, signed by LNHA president Mayson Saweler in a four-page reaction, said, “For giving the LNHA ultimatum to conduct re-election without proper investigation is a violation,” which is interference.

“2014 Annual Congress hosted by the LNOC on March 27-28, 2015…where election never appeared as Agenda Item is a violation.

“Carrying money changer… to the London Olympic Games in 2012 to represent Liberia in sports is a violation.

“Renting portion of LNOC offices on Randall Street to a private law firm called Legal Watch Inc….is a violation.”

The LNHA’s statement was directly addressed to LNOC president Browne. The LNHA also claimed that the LNOC Secretary General is not functioning but he receives salary and that is also a violation.

The LNHA said Browne has served for two consecutive Olympic terms as president without producing a single athlete from 29 federations and associations locally to participate in the forthcoming Brazil Olympics and rather depends on Liberians resident in the United States, which is a shame.

The LNHA’s statement was in response to the recent announcement by the LNOC that the LNHA’s recent elections were not free and fair, since elections officials did not show up, and the administration appointed an ad hoc committee to handle the elections.

The LNHA said the elections took place nearly six months ago, and was surprised that the LNOC could wait for six months to claim the elections were not free and fair.

The LNHA said its executive committee held its elections on October 31, 2015 in Harbel, Margibi County and they were free, fair and transparent.

“The elections were inclusive in accordance with our by-laws and constitution and LNOC observer, Mr. Fred Pratt, former deputy Sports Minister Marbue Richards, IHA observer, media and other stakeholders were present,” the statement said. It noted following the successful elections, its president attended the XXXIV World Handball Extra-Ordinary Congress in Sochi, Russia and secured the ‘Teach Handball-At-School Project.’

The LNOC recently said its decision to call for re-election was due to a report submitted by Mr. Pratt but the LNHA said an observer to any election cannot disqualify elections results six months after the inauguration of the those elected, especially so when there has not been any opposition.

The LNHA meanwhile called on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Chief Patron of Sports, Committee on Sports at the Legislature, Ministry of Youth & Sports, federations and associations to set up a committee to investigate the LNOC on their concerns.

Meanwhile, LNOC sources confirmed LNHA’s letter to President Browne and said appropriate response will be announced later.

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