Suspension, Interim Leadership Hang over Basketball

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Youth and Sports Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe is expected today to mediate between the leadership of the Liberia Basketball Association (LBA) and the aggrieved stakeholders, after decisions from four negotiating meetings ended in deadlock.

The President of the Liberia National Olympic Committee (LNOC), Philipbert Brown, has been invited to co-chair the negotiation.

Minister Nagbe might suspend all basketball activities, including its leadership, and appoint an interim leadership, to lead the association to elections, if there isn’t any compromise from the meeting or when the results and resolutions are not adhered to.

On the other hand, Minister Nagbe wouldn’t suspend basketball activities, including its leadership, and would not appoint an interim leadership, if the LBA leadership works within the decision that would be reached with the aggrieved stakeholders.

Deputy Minister Henry Yonton, via mobile phone yesterday described the meeting as “the last Resort.”

Minister Yonton said the meeting will bring to the fore the LBA leadership, including its president Rufus Anderson, secretary general D. Allen Goodridge and three Executive Committee members, while the aggrieved party is expected to also bring five persons to the meeting.

Deputy Minister Yonton said the meeting will be held in the offices of Minister Nagbe at the Ministry of Youth & Sports on 19th Street, at 11:00A.M.

“I will advise the LBA leadership and the aggrieved stakeholders to commit themselves to any resolution that may arise from today’s meeting,” Deputy Minister Yonton said. “I cannot say what the outcome may be but if they fail to do whatever might have come from the meeting, it is obvious that the Minister will definitely institute a remedial action.”

Since January 28, the LBA has failed to go to its scheduled and rescheduled elections over protest of alleged administrative and financial malpractices, including the spurious registrations of 14 3rd division clubs.

The Liberia National Olympic Committee’s President Philipbert Browne fruitlessly hosted two meetings with both parties.

In further effort to remedy the basketball embarrassing saga, the LNOC in collaboration with the Sports Department of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, with the presence of Deputy and Assistant Ministers, Yonton and Murvee Gray attended without success.

The postponement of Congress last Friday 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.

The LBA’s congress failed to begin due to various disruptions, including a reported fistfight between two persons, as tension boiled over.

The fist fight and quarrel between both parties, the management of the Baptist Seminary was constrained to bring to an end the congress and shut its doors.

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