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

‘Youth And Sports Played US For Nimba To Qualify’ -Officials Of Rivercess Reveal

“We played well as a team and it is no way a mistake that we qualify as one of the two teams with nine points but the quarterfinals were stage-managed for one side against us,” Rivercess supporters explained to this paper.

After exiting the country’s biggest and most celebrated sporting event, supporters and officials of Rivercess County are blaming the event organizers, the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the county’s failure to advance to the next stage of the tournament.

The county was eliminated by Nimba in the quarterfinal Saturday afternoon January 7, 2023 at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville in a 30-minute extra time after the full time ended in a 2-2 draw.

Unidentified officials of the county leaving the stadium reported that the game was played by match officials in favor of their opponents so that more money will be raised in the next stage.

“County Meet is our unity festival, no matter how you take it. We use sport to unite like other countries around the world but the organizers want to make more money from this event so they join the other side to play against us,” ranking official of the county alleged  on anonymity.

He said the Cestos boys played the best of football from the group stage up to the quarterfinal but were suppressed by the referees on alleged instructions from the National County Meet Steering Committee.

Further in these allegations, other members of the County Sport Committee named Deputy Sports Minister Andy Quamie and top staffers of the Ministry of Youth and Sports for briefing match officials before the start of the extra time in the game.

According to a female top fan and member of Rivercess County Sport Steering Committee, the organizers of the event are trying to make counties with higher support bases go forward in the National County Sports Meet.

The Ministry of Youth and Sports is yet to respond to these allegations as the County Meet is nearing its concluding stage.

Meanwhile the Chairman of Rivercess County Sports Steering Committee Oral G. Willie has revealed that the county will follow all procedures to ensure that the efforts of her players are not dashed by frauds from the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

According to Willie, Dalton Kollie was brought down in the penalty area by the Nimbiaian goalkeeper but the referee closed his eyes without penalizing Nimba for such a glaring foul and thus leaving Nimba to secure a win from an offside goal scored in extra time.

The Committee’s chairperson has however vowed to file a protest against Nimba for using four second division players in the quarterfinal which violates the rules of the tournament but were allowed by the match officials.

“There will be a turnaround because we are filing a protest and the protest committee will decide and look into this matter. We had a penalty cancelled and so many other chances that are all evidence that we were looked down on,” he maintained.

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