Mr. Soccer says its time he gives back to Liberian football
The man known as ‘Mr. Soccer’ for his passion to develop the game and promote Liberian players, Mustapha Raji, says because the Liberia Football Association’s Presidency is not a salary job, it must be understood that anyone who aspires for the leadership is going to give back to the sport.
Raji, who is one of the six candidates for the April 12 LFA elections told the Daily Observer in an interview that the state in which Liberian football finds itself now demands someone who has a great passion for the sport to move it to another level.
“It also demands a person,” he said who has a record of looking at the game from several angles and working to ensure that the players, coaches and referees, that is anyone who contributes to the game’s development is welcome and encouraged to do more.
“Let’s make it clear,” Raji said, “that becoming the president of the LFA does not mean you will be paid at the end of the month.”
Raji said with years of experience as a promoter of players and supporter of the game, he is convinced that he has what it takes to run the LFA with the support of all stakeholders.
“I am trying to give back to Liberian football,” Raji said, “and so there should be no mistake about my intention to run for the presidency of the Liberia Football Association.”
Raji has supported Liberian since his youth and was once the first sports official to personally provide money to help 50 soccer coaches gain their License C from the Liberia Football Association’s License C coaching course.
‘Mr. Soccer’ meanwhile, has appealed to soccer stakeholders to be interested in substantive issues that a soccer passionate leader can implement with their support to develop the game. Further according to him, they should not allow any issue that has no bearing on the development of the game to sidetrack the desire for the best for Liberia.
“How can we not make up our minds to vote for him when the time comes?” asked, one of the coaches who benefited from Raji’s gesture. “When others were not there Raji provided support to many of us to get our coaching licenses and it showed that he would do more for Liberian football.”
Another stakeholder said, “Raji knows about football than many club presidents and so going to the LFA as president will be a blessing for the country’s football development.”
Raji is the president of champion club, LISCR FC, and Gardnerville FC. He is the first football official to set up bank accounts for his players in the belief that the players would better manage their future finances once they are taught to do so now with their present club.
Other candidates for the LFA presidency include Musa Shannon, Adolphus Dolo, George Solo and the only female candidate Ms. Rochell Woodson.