The Ministry of Youth and Sports has developed “rules and guidelines” to monitor and control subsidy receiving federations and associations, which has already been validated and printed into “mini handbills.”
Since the creation of the Ministry of Youth and Sports in 1972 and then amended in 1981, this is the first time such guidelines for Liberian sports to be launched to enable the Ministry establish measurable indicators to track activities and deliverables of the 29 federations and associations in consonance with work plans, by-laws and their constitutions.
The 6-page document, under the title: “Guideline for Federations & Associations” was validated on 14 August 2015.
The Guideline seeks to achieve seven objectives, which include: importance, functions, characteristics, conflict of interest, financial and administrative accountability and amendment.
According to the Guideline, a copy of which is with the Daily Observer, the Ministry is responsible to regulate, promote, certificate, provide subsidy and supervise all of their activities.
The Ministry has also accepted to develop the political will to construct, manage and maintain all government sporting facilities; provide opportunities for training, support to all national teams because all national teams are sole properties of the Liberian government.
Article III of the Guideline from Section 3.0 to 3.17 emphasizes the responsibility of the associations and federations.
Some of the mandates of the national sports bodies, include the development and submission at the beginning of each fiscal year, short, medium and long-range programs and work plans; conduct annual competition or league and provide annual financial and situation reports, including external funding from international parent bodies.
The federations and associations are expected to “acquire office space and maintain bank accounts (Liberian and US dollars) with recognized banking institutions; must have article of incorporation and constitution in line with their international bodies and must submit the full listing of elected officers, email addresses and telephone numbers.”
It added that the federations and associations must have elections in line with their constitutions; the Ministry of Youth and Sports must be notified of all international matches/events at least two months, except otherwise to be determined.”
The Guideline also said no employee of the Ministry shall be allowed to serve in an elected position or appointed to the administration of any federation/association and no federation should sign any agreement/contract on behalf of the national teams of Liberia without seeking prior approval of the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
“No member of the leadership of one federation/association should occupy leadership position in another federation/association simultaneously,” the document further, said.
“Commitment to host international competitions must be in consultation with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and federations/associations activities must not conflict with academic activities,” the document said.
Those affected are federations and associations that manage golf, kickball, amputee football, taekwondo, weight lifting, athletics, karate, judo, boxing, volleyball, cricket, lawn tennis, handball, the national team, football, swimming, cycling, wrestling, basketball, netball, chess, wushu, canoeing and rowing.
Others include high school athletics, school football, Olympic Committee, women sports, inter-high school sports and university games.
Youth and Sports Minister Eugene Lenn Nagbe in a message in the Guideline thanked Deputy Sports Minister Henry B. Yonton, Jr. and his team for the enormous energies put into producing the rules and urged associations and federations to take ownership of the document and follow all of its contents, accordingly as a means of guiding their performances and attitudes.
“We are convinced that these Guidelines are comprehensive and crucial linkages between most of its articles and sub-sections and the Ministry’s overall sports development plan,” Minister Nagbe said.
For his part, Deputy Minister Yonton hailed Assistance Minister for Sports, Murvee Gray and the technical committee that developed the Guidelines, led by ORD Kareem Nyanneh and J. Bryant McGill.
“It is my hope that it will serve as a cut of point for the long running distractions regarding constitutional bridge and other administrative excesses allegedly carried out by heads and members of federations and associations,” Minister Yonton pointed out.
Yonton added: “Another importance of this guideline is that it defines acceptable behaviors to be demonstrated by federations and associations and equally, set high level of practice.”