National League

Controversial Liberian FA President Bility to step down

March 19 – After months of damning stories and rumours surrounding financial corruption within his national federation as well as his own alleged involvement, Musa Bility, whose conduct proved so controversial he failed an integrity test to contest the FIFA presidency, is to step down as Liberian FA president after choosing not to run for a third term next month.

Bility, who took charge in 2010, played a lead role in helping Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Ahmad dethrone the long-standing Issa Hayatou who had been in power for three decades.“I’m glad that my effort helped to change football in Africa and in FIFA,” Bility told BBC Sport. “This is when I set out to leave. (I wanted to) set an example. After two terms, one should let others try.”

Yet throughout his tenure, Bility faced constant allegations of corruption amid rumours that FIFA grants had not reached their intended destination with clubs struggling to pay players, referees unpaid, and leagues and competitions being delayed or suspended.

Funding for equipment for grassroots initiatives also allegedly disappeared while twice in the last three years a FIFA delegation has visited Liberia for compliance purposes.  Whistle-blower Rochell Woodson, who says the LFA “needs to face the Ethics Committee”, is charged with two counts of bringing the LFA into disrepute by highlighting alleged financial corruption.

Bility, suspended for four months by CAF for violating “statutes relating to the use of confidential documents,” was nonetheless a key figure in the 2016 Fifa presidential election. After being barred from standing himself, he publicly challenged a Caf directive to its member associations to vote for Asian football boss Sheikh Salman and instead at first backed Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, then eventual winner, Gianni Infantino.

In his statement, Bility insisted he had been unfairly wronged and pointed the finger at others.“It became clear to me that it was impossible for football to develop in countries like mine unless it was properly managed at the level of CAF and FIFA,” Bility wrote in a letter to FIFA.“Being who I’ve always been, I never hesitated to take on both institutions as an agent of change. The international attention that came with this fight became very costly to me, my family and even, at times, my ability to properly oversee the affairs of my FA.

“From an unjust suspension by CAF and the misuse of ‘integrity checks’ by people in FIFA who themselves would later be disgracefully removed from office, I have suffered a reputational damage that still haunts me today.”

source|By Andrew Warshaw

Contact the writer of this story at | moc.llabtoofdlrowedisni@wahsraw.werdna

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