Youth & Sports to Mandate LNOC

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At long last, the Ministry of Youth & Sports has decided to do something about the leadership crisis in the Liberia Basketball Federation.

Deputy Minister Henry Yonton told the Daily Observer in a telephone interview yesterday that the Liberia National Olympic Committee is to be mandated to find a way forward for the leadership of the LBF.

“The Ministry has decided, with the support of Minister Nagbe to authorize the mother of all local sports, LNOC to find a way forward,” Minister Yonton said.

He said the LNOC will receive a mandate, (was expected to deliver it yesterday), including terms of reference, (TOR).

Information reaching the Daily Observer said on two occasions, meetings called by the Ministry to resolve the leadership crisis was ignored by outgoing president Rufus Anderson.

“That was pure disrespect to the ministry,” said someone close to Minister Nagbe.

LNOC President Phillibert Brown confirmed to the Daily Observer that he was aware of the Ministry’s decision to let the LNOC handle the leadership crisis with the full support of Minister Nagbe.

“I’m waiting for the letter from the ministry,” Brown told the Daily Observer yesterday, “once the authorization is received, we will begin to work.”

Brown would not explain if an interim administration would be the way forward, by saying, “With the authority in our hands we will begin to take some decisions.”

He hoped the LNOC’s final involvement in the crisis could bring some relief to ensure that basketball begins to go the way it should go.

Several club presidents expressed interest in the pending authorization to the LNOC to handle the crisis.

One said since the LNOC is one of the most dependable material and financial sponsors of sports, including basketball, “It would be foolish for any of the contending parties not to put their houses in order.”

Though LNOC President Brown would not admit it, another official said, “Anyone who will not agree to the next decision to move basketball forward may be sanctioned by the LNOC.”

Without the LNOC and the Liberian government’s support, another club president said, “Basketball will remain backward.”

Brown was president of the Liberia Basketball Federation for nearly ten years and the sport grew and gained more respect, a long time basketball follower said, adding, “so they better listen to him.”

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