There are serious mix reactions among football stakeholders about the plan to amend article 58 section 1 of the Liberia Football Association Statutes which was revised just seven months ago.
Football Stakeholders will hold an extraordinary congress on July 21, 2018, for the sole purpose of making amendments to the December 2017 revised statutes.
The article under review led to a serious dispute among key candidates in the April 14, 2018 Football elections which led to a court injunction to the second round of the election.
Fifa wants the issue of degree thrown out from the football constitution.
This proposal seems to have been accepted by the new Executive Committee of the LFA who is said to be campaigning for the acceptance of the proposal on July 21.
While they are doing just that, there are some other football stakeholders who are objecting to the proposal.
The football stakeholders against the amendment said they do not support high school graduates contesting for the LFA Presidency or vice presidencies in future elections.
Former Executive Committee Member, Rochell Woodson is one prominent figure against amending the LFA Statutes to allow high school diploma holders to contest the LFA top positions.
According to Chapter 25 of the LFA Election guidlines; Article 58.1 (December 2017 Revised Statutes):
“The President shall not be younger than 25 years. The President must have been President in one of the Members of the LFA in the last two years before the elections. The President shall have a minimum qualification of a bachelor degree; the other members of the Executive committee shall have a minimum qualification of a high school diploma. He shall not have been found guilty of a criminal offense. He shall have the Liberia nationality and shall have residency within the territory of Liberia. The President, Vice Presidents and Members of the Executive Committee shall not be younger than 35 years.”
The proposal from the LFA Executives Committee is to change the article and therefore shall be read as follows:
“The President, Vice Presidents and Executive Committee members shall have a minimum qualification of high school diploma. They shall not have been found guilty of criminal offense. They shall have the Liberian Nationality and shall have residency within the territory. The President, Vice Presidents and Members of the Executive Committee shall not be younger than 25 years”.
This seems to be bringing split among football club presidents and even the players and fans.
On one side of the debate, stakeholders of football said changing the requirement from degree to high school diploma will be a sign of discouragement for athletes who are struggling to obtain college or university papers.
While on the other side, the proponents are saying a degree requirement is a form of discriminatory to individuals who have not had the opportunity to acquire a degree from college or university.
The debate intensified on social media and some local radio stations when The Monrovia Times reported about the July 21 extraordinary congress to amend the constitution.
LFA President Musa Bility is quiet on the matter at the moment, but sources closed to the Caf Executives Committee member says the former Watanga FC CEO is strongly against changing the degree requirement to a diploma.
Until July 21, the football stakeholders will keep the debate as every day seems to be stimulating the argument.