When Musa Hassan Bility first ascended to the helm of Liberia’s football administration as president, one positive decision he made was appointing former CAF and FIFA referee Idrissa Kaba as his Secretary General.
In an interview after his appointment, Mr. Kaba said he was going to the LFA with a great deal of experience in football management, because “I’m schooled in all aspects of sports administration and therefore I am coming to the FA Secretariat with optimism and confidence.”
Kaba was passionate about what he was willing to sacrifice, along with President Bility and the Executive Committee, for Liberia. Sadly, Mr. Kaba, after a short period of time, had to leave the job for obvious reasons. But in all respect, Kaba is a man that no one can divorce from football. Proof is that his family has nurtured a youthful football team that is doing wonders in the junior division of the Liberia Football Association.
For the records Mr. Kaba began his football journey as a referee somewhere around the late1980s and rose gradually to become chief referee. During his active days, he performed every assignment as if he was invited from a neighboring country to handle a difficult match.
He had poise and his command on the field was legendary. He was one of the few referees that had a commanding presence on the field. At WAFU, CAF and FIFA, and local matches that he served as either a center referee or linesman, or helping other referees, he performed wonderfully with his timely calls that endeared him to soccer fans and a choice for many.
Friends who know him said Kaba had a dangerous passion for football. As football across the sub-region improved and Liberian football seemed to lag behind, Kaba was full of pains to lament on what was going wrong.
When Liberia ranked 160th on a FIFA ranking a few years ago, Kaba said with all his heart it was a shame because, “we can do better, and I think that is one of the challenges facing the (Bility) administration.” It was his determination that “That downward trend is a sore that we must heal with all the vigor and support that we are able to muster.”
Many objective soccer fans facing the challenge of what is negatively impacting Liberian football, did not think there could be a reversal, but Kaba insisted, “I’m certain from my personal experience that this is not a hopeless situation. I’m essentially impressed with President Bility’s positive effort to combat the downward trend of the game. I am hopeful of our success.”
Is it not a sad commentary that a man who held such a position at the time and even now would be dismissed from a position he was honestly prepared to sacrifice for?
Asked about the challenges that face Liberian football and how prepared he is to work along with the LFA at the time, Kaba was emphatic about the future, and replied: “Certainly, and you know I have dedicated several years to the improvement of football development in Liberia. You were one of the few journalists who first reported on my career as a soccer referee. I have risen to many levels as the game developed, and coupled with my education and degrees in both French and English, and in both theory and practice on the game, my answer in short is, with total support from the Executive Committee, sports writers, stakeholders and all, success will not be far from the new administration.” Don’t you love this man?
Regrettably it was that total support he did not get from those he had hoped would have helped him succeed. The man that Liberia soccer needs is waiting on the wings, as it is said in track and field, to receive the baton to run with it to give Liberian football an impressive dash to the finish line.