LFA Wahala Reignited
Word or words have ensured among key actors of Liberia Football Association as the controversy surrounding the staging of the 2018 President’s Cup intensifies.
The President’s Cup was due to commence Saturday, August 2018 at the ATS, but a communication from the LFA Secretary General Emmanuel Deah informed participating clubs that the tournament has been put on hold until further notice.
More than 40 teams were due to compete in the competition.
According to report, there has been dissatisfaction among members of the Organizing Committee of the President’s Cup on the manner in which the Chairperson of the Committee, Wilmot Smith (LFA VPO) is proceeding.
Some members of the committee said the Chairman was keeping them in the dark in the planning of the tournament especially the financial aspect.
Another report said the Organizing Committee was crediting money to purchase “substandard” sporting materials for the participating teams without the knowledge of the LFA Finance department and EC.
Some of the clubs wrote complaining about the situation which might have forced the LFA President, Musa Bility to order the Secretary-General to put a hold on the tournament.
Emmanuel Deah wrote telling the clubs,
“We write to kindly inform you that by directive of the President of the Liberia Football Association (LFA), the President Cup tournament is hereby put on hold until further notice.
Moreover, the activities of the Organizing Committee of the 2018 President Cup is also hereby put on hold until further notice.
The decision to put the commencement of the tournament on hold is to make the Organizing Committee more all-encompassing to reflect the general public since this tournament is in honor of H.E. President Dr. George M. Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia”.
Few hours after the SG’s Communication, the LFA Vice President for Operations Wilmot Smith responded with his own communication telling Musa Bility that he isn’t an “Executive President” anymore at the LFA.
“Dear Stakeholders please be informed that the email sent to you by the Secretary-General concerning the President Cup being put on hold did not come from the executive committee. It’s unfortunate and misleading. Mr. Bility is not an Executive President of the LFA and has no power to unilaterally overturn a decision approved by the Executive Committee or even singlehandedly make a decision for the Executive committee.
We regret such unacceptable action on the part of Mr. Bility through the Secretary-General to mislead the Clubs that are so excited about seeing football play”.
The LFA President himself had his own respond to Wilmot Smith with this email.
“Mr. Vice President for Operations, until September 8, 2018, I’m the President of LFA and I will continue act as such.
Having said that, I thought it is important to let the stakeholders know why we cannot rush this very important Tournament.
As Chairman of the Committee set up to organize this Tournament, you brought a budget to the EC for approval and it was done so. We then informed you to ensure that you keep the Finance Committee informed on all your Financial Transactions.
Few days later, the chair of the Finance Committee complained to the EC that he and his committee are not aware of your activities as planned. You refuted that in the last EC meeting. There were concerns that you have committed over $200,000 to this Tournament and the LFA has up to date received only LRD70, 000 in the special account established for this Tournament”.
Mr. Wilmot Smith took no time to respond to Musa Bility in another email in which he stated that the action was not from the LFA.
“It is not and should not be considered a position statement from the Liberia Football Association,” Wilmot said in his response.
He added that,
“Mr. Bility you’re no Executive President, you and the VPA are sore losers and be assured of punitive action from the Executive Committee soon”.
There are other reports that the LFA Vice President for Administration is also not happy with proceedings of the LFA VPO.
The last President Cup final match is yet to be staged, but a new competition is been organized while the two finalists, IE and LISCR are left wondering.
Observers see the latest hullabaloo at the LFA as falling from the frying pan, into the fire itself.