It appears that tension is being reignited between the Liberia National Handball Association (LNHA) and the Liberia National Olympics Committee (LNOC) over who has control over the association.
The renew tension is said to have been sparked by recent announcement from the Liberia National Olympics Committee (LNOC) setting up an elections committee to conduct elections within the Liberia National Handball Association (LNHA) in three weeks without the knowledge of the LNHA.
The Liberia National Olympics Committee on April 17, 2019 announced an elections committee to hold elections within the Local Handball Association for new leadership.
The LNOC in its statement quoted its Vice President for Technical Affairs Malcolm Joseph as saying
“The LNOC was asked by the International Handball Association to constitute and supervise the elections of a new corps of officers for the Liberia National Handball Association in the wake of leadership crises that have engulfed the Association”.
That election committee has already begun work, with the releasing of guideline for the elections.
But reacting to the news, Local Handball Association President J. Mason Saweler said the LNOC has no authority to conduct elections within the association.
“In the first place, the Olympics Committee does not have the authority to hold elections for our organization. Before you even go to elections within the association, you must have a congress. It is during congress you can talk about elections. So the Olympics Committee does not know what it is doing” said J. Mason Saweler.
J. Mason Saweler said “Only the Local Handball body can organize a Congress and not an Olympics Committee that does not have work to do in the country.
He described the LNOC’s action as interference within the handball sport which could lead to a lawsuit.
According to him, the International Body of the Handball sport has not given such mandate to the LNOC, as the World body itself cannot hold elections within the local body.
J. Mason Saweler told The Monrovia Times Sports desk on Monday, that they (LNHA) are in constant communication with the World body and that their Parent body has not raised any issue about holding elections in the Liberian game.
J. Mason Saweler said “If the International Handball Association has a problem with (us) the Liberia Handball Association, they will write me directly and not a sleepy LNOC”.
He said the World Body regulation does not support the action of the Liberia National Olympics Committee.
“They are doing this on their own, because they don’t even know the President of the International Handball Association. They want to fight me because am supporting the removal of Philibert Brown from the LNOC Leadership,” said Saweler.
He disclosed that recently, the International Handball Association provided some material assistance that has enable the local association to open new centers outside Monrovia.
Mr. J. Mason Saweler noted that he will take the LNOC to court if he sees a document from the LNOC or a “bogus” elections committee saying it has authority to conduct elections within the association.
He said he has struggled to get the sport to where it is today; as such he will not allow the LNOC to undermine the organization.
“I challenge them; they have no authority to call for elections within our association. I will take them to court if they make any attempt to destabilize the LNHA. We (LNHA) are not a member of the LNOC, how can they want to mingle with our association? ”, remarked J. Mason Saweler.
Mason Saweler as head of the Liberia National Handball Association and the LNOC have been at loggerhead for more than six years now, with the LNOC supporting some aggrieved coaches and referees.