The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Unprecedented Inclusion!-LFA Takes “Ticket Seller” To Equatorial Guinea -As Sports Journalist Left Out

The Liberia Football Association (LFA) has once again come under serious criticism for selecting a ‘ticket seller’ to form part of Liberia’s delegation to Equatorial Guinea over a sports journalist.
Though the FA is yet to explain the actual role Mr. Solomon Wah plays on the 27-man delegation, his inclusion has sparked uncontrollable debates amongst football stakeholders, as one group accused the LFA of ignoring the media presence on the delegation.
Wah is the only member listed on the Liberia’s delegation without a handle (title) to his name, something which has caught the attention of several football pundits who are now questioning the FA for such decision. According to an FA source, Wah is a staff of the Liberia football Association (LFA) in the department of stadium management but is constantly spotted at the entrance of the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) selling games tickets.
But former Executive Committee Member, Rochell Woodson on the other hand said the FA can decide to include any of its staff on the Lone Star delegation once that person is in the employed of the association.
She argued that those are motivational norms that are intended to give staff the opportunity regardless their status.
“If the person is in the employ right, but remember that the media is a member of the LFA and they brings the actual facts of what will transpire at those games,” she added.
“The media will disclose the real happenings. They will give you the face value of the game and report on the conduct of the technical staff and the players as well,” she stated.
Madam Woodson said: “to have the media presence on a national team delegation is just a precedent. Everywhere around the world when national team travels a journalist is always a cogent part of the delegation.”
“What do we expect from a national team delegation without the presence of the local sporting media. It is always prudent to have them inclusive because they help in conveying the team’s performance, they are the link between the public and the national team. We hope that this claim the attention of SWAL,” Madam Woodson further said.
For his part, Sports Writers Association President, Roland Mulbah said the association is already holding talks with the FA regarding making amendment in the existing MOU signed between the two institutions.
“Obviously in the past travel and other things were part but the current President indicated that there are portion of the MOU that needs amendment, and we are working on that together,” Mr. Mulbah added.
“We had a meeting with the FA and both party agreed in principal to make an amendment which will be done soon. So for now we can only appeal to the FA to have a SWAL member included on its delegation,” the SWAL President further said.
Mulbah also disclosed that President Raji assured that Liberia’s trip Dakar, Senegal will include a sports journalist.
In early July, the FA The Liberia Football Association announced that the National team of Liberia “The Lonestar” will take on Equatorial Guinea in an international friendly on July 21, 2019 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
The match was arranged as part of the preparations for the 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier which will be played in Monrovia against Senegal a week later on July 28, 2019.
Liberia was responsible for round-trip tickets and per diems for the traveling delegation while host Equatorial Guinea agreed to take care of accommodation, feeding, ground transportation and training facilities.
Following arrangements, the FA released a 27-man delegation headed by Executive Committee Member, Mamie Beatrice Kpoto.
The delegation is headed by LFA EC Kpoto included Solomon Wah (a ticket seller and staff of the FA), Head Coach Thomas Kojo, Deputy Coach Samuel Chebli and Trainer George Gebro.
Others were goalkeeping coach Eric Glasco, Administrative Manager Sebastian Collins, kitman Tommy Johnson and physiotherapist Patrick Konuwa.
When contacted the Public Relations Officer of the FA, Danesius Marteh on the role of delegate Solomon Wah on the trip, he responded by saying “go and research.”
Meanwhile, football pundits have frowned on the local football house for their level of insensitive to the media presence on a national team delegation.
Some argued that if the trip is being sponsored by the national government and considering the budgetary constraints, the FA should be decisive in its selection.
Others football pundits have argued that instead of taking another staff of the FA, President Raji should have at least included a sports journalist so as to help disseminate information from the game.
Mr. Raji was a tough-talking figure against past football regimes. Raji was noted for his regular critical positions against former regimes of the FA. He was voted on the message of change. He assured stakeholders that when elected his administration will do differently as was done in the past. But to the contrary, the very ugly past continues to repeat itself.
Meanwhile, President Mustapha I. Raji will hold a meeting select members of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL), today at the ATS. It is expected that President Raji will provide clarity on the controversial 2018 sponsorship money provided by Orange GSM. The money was reportedly misapplied by Raji’s administration.

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