A tussle has ensued at the Liberia Football Association as two top officials are saying they are in charge and should give the orders on running things at the Local Football House. The tussle over the leadership of the LFA is between Musa Bility, the man who has been running the local football for eight years and Sekou Konneh who late last year won the vacant LFA Vice President for Operations position on a white ballot and was on April 14, 2018, elected as Vice President for Administration.
That April 14, 2018, Elective Congress could not be concluded as the Civil Law Court stay order forced the Congress to be abandoned when George Solo, a candidate for the LFA Presidency petitioned the Court to halt the elections accusing the election committee of not given him due process in his complaint against Mustaphai Raji.
Since then, the process as not being concluded as the Elections Committee is yet to hear Solo’s complaint.That complaint couple with several other complaints to Fifa recently forced the World Football Body to send a special investigation team to look into the elections disputes in Liberia.
That team has since returned to Zurich with its report, but Fifa is yet to take a decision.While football stakeholders await FIFA; report says there has been wrangling at the LFA headquarters with some of the elected football executives demanding that they should be in full control, while Musa Bility says he remains the President until the elections process is completed legally.
It is clear that there is is a bitter relation between the Secretary General of the Liberia Football Association Emmanuel Dean and those Stakeholders that won Executive Committee seats at the April 14 election. A report says the Secretary-General has on numerous occasions refused orders from the elected ECs, while only taking orders from Musa Bility.
This might have angered the elected Executive Committee Members, especially the two Vice Presidents-elect which has seen the Vice President for Administration elect Sekou Konneh telling Fifa he’s now in charge at the LFA, as such he should be listened to and not Musa Bility whom Mr. Konneh considered former President.
A letter to FIFA dated May 27, 2018, signed by Sekou Konneh as Acting President of the LFA requested that FIFA replace two of the three nominees on the Liberian delegation to the 2018 Russia FIFA World Cup. The members of that Liberian delegation include Musa Bility, Musa Shannon and Sekou Konneh. But Mr. Konneh wants the names of Musa Bility and Musa Shannon replace with Wilmot Smith VPO-elect and Beatrice Mamie Kpoto EC-elect respectively.
According to Mr. Konneh, the two should not be on the Liberian delegation to the Russia Congress because there has been an election that has ousted the two. Mr. Konneh’s communique which was addressed to FIFA’s Secretary General, Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura reads: “Madam, I write on behalf of the newly elected Executive Committee of the Liberia Football Association (LFA) to request the withdrawal of two of our three representatives to the FIFA 2018 Congress scheduled to be held in Moscow, Russia. The two are Musa Hassan Bility, former President and Musa Shannon, former 1st Vice President”.
But, Musa Hassan Bility responded by writing Mr. Konneh a long letter accusing the BYC Boss of attempting to undermine the LFA and its Statutes.In his response, Mr. Bility said; “Your email to the FIFA Secretary General is quite disappointing and a flagrant violation of the LFA as well the FIFA
Statues, to say the least. It is now clear that you and your colleagues have chosen to take the laws unto yourselves and act in total violation of the LFA and FIFA Statues. Your email to FIFA is rather strange since, in fact, you are aware that the process that would have ushered in a new leadership at the LFA has not been concluded due to several factors that questioned the legitimacy of the entire process.”
Musa Bility who refused to be seen as embattled President of the LFA further noted in his letter addressed to Mr. Sekou Konneh, “Let me remind you that the Statues of the LFA is very clear as regards the transfer of authority. This can only occur “at the END” of an elective congress.
You are fully aware that the last elective Congress was inconclusive.There have been numerous complaints regarding the election process which is currently being investigated by FIFA and until such time that all outstanding issues are resolved and an acceptable election is held in full compliance with the LFA and FIFA Statues, I remain the President of the LFA with full legal authority to represent the LFA at any and all occasions where required”.
Musa Bility just before the election told Stakeholders he was eagerly waiting to turn over office to a new President. Meanwhile, LFA’s President, Musa Hassan Bility, has directed the Secretary-General of the LFA, Mr. Emmanuel Deah, to seize all contacts with Mr. Konneh and colleagues in order to maintain what he calls “the integrity of the LFA and uphold the LFA’s Statutes”.
These communications have created heated debate amongst football stakeholders and followers of football in Liberia over the past days. The issue has been major talking points on Radio stations with the Public giving mix reactions. But just what does the constitution say about new leadership and Bility’s claim of transfer of authority at the end of Congress?
CHAPTER 25 which deals with ELECTIONS explains the transfer of authority in Article 58.1 this way: 58.1 “The President shall be elected by the Congress for a period of four years. His/her mandates shall begin after the end of the Congress which has elected him/her.” It is not clear if the article settles the matter, but what remains clear is that two individuals are fighting to control the LFA in the mix of all of the wahala in Liberian football.