LNOC to Determine Basketball Leadership

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The outgoing leadership of the Liberia Basketball Association and its aggrieved stakeholders last Friday failed to reach a compromise and as a result failed to host its congress and the elections that were scheduled last Saturday.

Congress was expected to iron out differences that could have led to the elections of its leaders for the next four years.

“The way forward depends on the Liberia National Olympic Committee,” said a stakeholder.

The postponement marked the fourth deferment – the first date was January 28; later to February 6 and 7; February 17 and 18 and then February 20 and 21.

Reports indicate that there was too much tension at the compound of Liberia Baptist Seminary that two men engaged in a fist fight.

“The case was reported to the ELWA Police Depot,” eye-witnesses said.

The management of the Baptist Seminary was constrained to bring to an end the congress and its doors due to the lack of civility that characterized the congress.

Meanwhile, in a way forward Deputy Sports Minister Henry Yonton and the President of Liberia National Olympic Committee (LNOC) Philipbert Brown, are expected to hold another meeting with the leadership of the LBA and the aggrieved stakeholders on Tuesday, February 24.

The meeting is also expected to be attended by Youth and Sports Minister Eugene Nagbe.

Friday’s Congress

Congress failed to begin on Friday at as planned owing to a shocking acceptance of outgoing LBA boss, Rufus Anderson to go into negotiations with the Aggrieved Stakeholders who were not prepared to sit with him.

Mr. Anderson might have accepted the negotiation to deny suggestions in the sporting community that he was the problem to basketball’s progress.

He is aware of last Thursday’s protest at the Sports Commission against his administration.

In the failed arrangement, the LBA boss consented to the include Mr. Jake Kabakollie as vice president, along with others to form part of the new Executive Committee.

But the Aggrieved Stakeholders rejected the proposal, arguing for the entire change of leadership.

Thursday’s Protest

Over 15 basketball players protested in front of the Sports Commission on Broad Street calling for the resignation of Rufus Anderson for administrative and financial malpractices.

The players held placards, denouncing outgoing president Rufus Anderson, who is seeking re-election.

The protesters also sealed up the two doors of the Sports Commission but at the end of the day of Thursday, the Ministry of Youth & Sports had sought a compromise and one of the doors was open on the arrival of the Deputy Police Director for Operations, Abraham Kromah.

Tuesday’s Meeting

On Tuesday, the 17 of February, election was postponed for the third time over the failure of Rufus Anderson’s leadership to distribute congressional documents, through the Ministry of Youth and Sports before congress which was to start the previous day.

A meeting was held in the offices of Deputy Sports Minister Henry Yonton and 7-Count Resolution, of which a copy is in our possession, was agreed upon.

According to the resolution, the LBF must present the current bank statement and receipts of the Association to determine the legitimacy of 14 3rd division clubs being contested on Thursday, February 18, at 11:00am to the offices’ of the Deputy Sports Minister.

The Resolution states: That all qualified teams receive package on February 18, at the Ministry of Youth and Sports’ facilities; That registration for election is open from Tuesday, February 17 to Thursday, February 19, and that registration fees for the election be paid to the election commission of the LBF constituted to oversee the election.

It further stated: “That all clubs obligated to the Association must pay said money to the Secretary General of the Association or the Treasurer before the close of business on Thursday, February 19, and that the second day of the congress must be subsidized by the aggrieved party and said amount should be channeled through the Ministry of Youth and Sports on Thursday, February 19.”

Mr. Ali Sylla of D-Rocks and Calvin Diggs of Flames signed on behalf of the aggrieved stakeholders as proof of commitment; while secretary general D. Allen Goodridge and president Rufus Anderson affixed their signatures on behalf of the LBF leadership and the Deputy Minister for Sports approved the Resolution.

Revenge Spree

Sources said the aggrieved stakeholders did not provide funds needed, as to the agreement while LBA deliberately refused to distribute congressional documents on February 2, which would mark 15 days to the election.

But other sources said the aggrieved stakeholders also refused to register to participate in the elections, if the alleged 10 bogus basketball clubs were not removed from the list.

With the current situation, the LNOC and the Ministry of Youth & Sports will have the mantle to determine the leadership arrangement for the Liberia Basketball Association.

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