The SWAL Controversy

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The Sports Association of Liberia, SWAL, cancelled its Jan. 24 elections due to questions raised by presidential contenders about who is and who is not a sports writer and who is also qualified to vote.

The list of 133 members submitted electronically and on hard copies did not have the signature of Secretary General Roland Mulbah or outgoing president Fomba Kanneh’s on it.

Mr. Mulbah, who is seeking the presidency Wednesday, arrived at the PUL headquarters, the venue of the debate with the Music Madrid Singing Group behind him, and it was as if he had won the elections already.

It was interesting that Mulbah was rejoicing before the debate. When he was asked about the source of the list of 133 members, he flatly denied knowledge of it and pointed out that many things had gone on wrong with SWAL.

Many of his colleague sports writers think Mulbah is a controversial figure, but he claimed he is an advocate against the ills in SWAL, the major cause that has compelled him not to support vice president Martina Brooks, but to run his own campaign for the president.

“Ok,” I told him, “how much money does SWAL have just for the record?”

“I don’t know,” Mulbah said.

In many organizations, particularly like a sporting body like SWAL, it was strange that the secretary general was not aware of first of the list submitted to the Elections Commission and most importantly, how much money is in the coffers of the association.

Some members of SWAL have had the occasion to question the financial expenditure of the Liberia Football Association. Like the mother Union, the PUL has its 4th Estate designation to question the Government of Liberia, how the resources of the country are used.

Is it not ironic that we are unable to be realistic about how much journalists have in their association’s coffers? True, the PUL is as much as guilty as the case is, for how in the world could US100, 000 disappear against the intended purpose?

And we are the first to beat the drum and play others’ secret recordings to create the impression that because we control the mediums to get to the public we are more patriotic than others.

How also in the world could the secretary general of SWAL not been aware of a common list of its members, let alone how much the organizations has?

Ey Nyenswa! Please Jesus come back!

It is said that a chain is as strong as it weakest link. How many SWAL members are aware of this adage? The Elections Commission, headed by Momolu V. O. Sirleaf and buddy Zeogar Jaynes now has a responsibility to make sure that records are set straight. There are some on the list who come around only when there are international games involving the national team, Lone Star.

The question I want Sports Writers to consider is: Do we have 133 sports writers in Liberia? What do they write and broadcast?

Does the number include those who copy internet soccer news and promote European football at the expense of Liberian football?

True, the local game may not have Messi, Ronaldo and even Falcao, but we have Sam Jackson (Nimba County), David Paye (Grand Bassa) and many others from the LFA league who deserve our promotion.

The current controversy in SWAL should clean the list and prepare the way for the election on Feb. 7.

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