FIFA badge Liberian Referee Isaac T.Z Montgomery has resigned from active refereeing activities less than a month after he was announced as Secretary General of the Liberia Football Association.
The Liberian match official made the disclosure Saturday , December 15th,2018 after he officiated the CAF Confederation Cup match between Algerian Club USM Bel-Abbes and Nigeria’s Enugu Rangers. The match ended nil-nil.He was assisted in the match by compatriots; Elisha Johnson as Assistant Referee #1, Johnson Gbatea as Assistant Referee #2, while Hassan Corneh served as 4th official.
In a statement released at the weekend, Montgomery said his decision to step aside from active officiating activities is based on his new role at the Liberian FA. “It is a difficult decision, but I have made it. I announced in Saturday Technical Meeting in Algeria that I won’t officiate any international match again and I want to inform all football followers in Liberia about my decision,” Montgomery said.Montgomery said his pronouncement was greeted by cheer from the technical staff of both teams, some of whom hailed him so much for the preferment.
He continued: “My new job is so huge; managing the secretariat of Liberian football is a big task and refereeing at the same time I believe both can’t work hand-in-hand based on the urgency and vibrancy the President attaches to football development”.
The former athletics star went on to recount how refereeing brought him to prominence and hailed his colleagues and Liberia Football Referee Association (LIFRA) for the support.“To my colleagues in LIFRA, I thank you very much for the support. You made me, you helped me to reach this far. I remained one of you though,” Montgomery said.In the emotional statement, Montgomery named Francis Sannoh as his best ever assistant referee, but regretted that he was dropped as a FIFA badge.
“Francis Sannoh is the best assistant referee that I ever played with. I am sorry that he was dropped from the FIFA list due to some administrative reason by the Referee Standing Committee in 2016, but I hardly appreciate him,” he said. Montgomery extended the biggest appreciation to LFA President Mustapha Raji and the Executive Committee of the FA. “I am so grateful to Mr. Raji for having seen that level of confidence and entrusting me football in Liberia, I am so delighted,” he added.
The LFA Chief Scribe further added: “To members of the Executive Committee I say thank you for accepting me. Thank you for your consideration,”Mr.Raji named Montgomery as the new Secretary General recently replacing Emmanuel Deah who have been in the position for the over one and a half year under the Musa Bility administration.
Montgomery joined the Liberia Football Referees Association (LIFRA) in 2009 as a retired 800m athlete. A year later, he became a national referee and three years later, 2013, he became a FIFA badge center referee. His first international match was in Benin and he ended his referee career on Saturday, December 15, 2018 in Algeria with a Beninese serving as his Match Commissioner.In 2013 and 2014 respectively, Montgomery emerged as the dux of the CAF/FIFA elite referee, including the Cooper’s test (running test).
He was awarded the best referee title in the Liberia Football Association National League in the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, 2014- 2015 seasons. In 2016, Montgomery handled an African Cup of Nations qualifying match between Mauritania and Gambia.
Source: Edwin Dolo ,Contributing Journalist