MONROVIA, Montserrado – The Ministry of Youth and Sports has announced that it has withdrawn management of the Antoinette Tubman Stadium and the various national football teams from under the Liberia Football Association. The ministry will now manage those entities itself.
According to a press release issued, the decision to withdraw the management of the Antoinette Tubman Stadium and the various national team was reached after a meeting with LFA’s vice president for administration, Sekou Konneh.
The ministry’s decision comes in the wake of the poor management of the Antoinette Tubman Stadium and the mismanagement of activities to prepare the national teams for international competitions. The release disclosed that the ministry was not pleased over the delayed submission of the budget for the just-ended West African Football Union U-20 Cup, in addition to the decision to withdraw the national U-17 team from the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
In a letter to Musa Hassan Bility, the LFA’s president, the Sports Minister Zoegar Wilson identified the poor managing of the Antoinette Tubman Stadium, which violates international regulations regarding the management of sports facilities, as one of the key factors.
However, Zoegar assured the football house and the public that the current collaboration between the ministry and the LFA would continue for the good of Liberian football.
The unexpected decision means the ministry will take direct control over the national team for Liberia’s 171st Independence Day match against Sierra Leone.
Meanwhile, a senior official of the LFA who asked not to be named told The Bush Chicken that the ministry’s decision is a complete violation of the memorandum of understanding signed by the football house and the ministry. The LFA official said the stadium had been in good form prior to the Inter-Ministerial League, which run by the government. According to the official, the tournament resulted in a surplus of garbage at the stadium and the government made no funds available for sanitation.
“They came at the stadium and saw it dirty and decided to take that decision,” the official said. “People come at the ATS to play and dirty the place. There’s no budget for cleaning the stadium for the tournament. How are they expecting the stadium to be cleaned when there’s no money to pay people to clean it? It’s a serious violation of the memorandum of understanding. Besides, the Antoinette Tubman Stadium is a FIFA Goal Project and not like the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex that was built by the government. I’m sure the current minister hasn’t seen the MOU signed when Musa Bility took office.”
Featured photo by T. Kla Wesley Jr.