October 24 – Newly elected Liberia Football Association (LFA) president Mustapha Raji (pictured), who took over from the controversial Musa Bility, says the country badly needs to step up youth development – starting with schools.
Liberia has not developed a global world star since George Weah, now the country’s president, and Raji told the BBC there was a need to strengthen the national team at all levels.“We are looking at how we can … scout potential youths at all levels for future national teams. We will also be looking at the inter-schools competitions that have been dormant for years,” he said.
Liberian football is returning to some sort of normality following the regime of Bility. Elections for the LFA presidency were suspended via a court injunction while the association was sanctioned by FIFA’s audit and compliance committee.Raji says he wants to build his own legacy “to put Liberia at a different level.”
“An internal audit is currently ongoing but we have debts that came from the banks in the tune of over US$100,000,” he revealed. “We came to work. So we will talk to partners, like banks and clubs, that we owed. We will restructure and see where we can service those debts with the support of FIFA and other partners.
“We will reduce the exchange of cash by hands and be more transparent where we can pay via transfers between banks or checks where possible from the LFA accounts based on the proper documents. It is difficult to come in as a new person and meet all of these measures because of what happened in the past.”