By: Naneka Hoffman
The Liberia Football Association has with immediate effect, suspended LFA Deputy Secretary General for Legal Affairs, Atty. Benedict Yarsiah for “time indefinite”, pending investigation into report of depriving Guinean female international Bountou Sylla, playing in Liberia from celebrating with her country’s flag.
The incident occurred on Saturday, April 2, 2021, at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Practice Pitch in Paynesville City when Determined Girls FC were crowned 2021/2022 Champions and their Guinean striker was deprived of celebrating with the Guinean flag on the podium.
A statement from the LFA Secretariat says, “Reference is made to an incident…during the crowning ceremony of Determined Girls…where Player Bountou Sylla, a Guinean national was denied her rights to bear her flag during the presentation of the medals.”
Bountou was inching the stage with her national colors green, yellow, and red to cap a memorable night when she was denied.
The LFA notes that it finds the action unethical and has also asked Atty. Yarsiah to refrain from all activities relating to football.
The administrative decision follows a day after the LFA swiftly condemned the act and apologized to the player, the club, Federation of Guinea Football (FEGUIFOOT) and football lovers.
However, the Guinea Football Federation Vice President for normalization, Sega Diallo accepts the apology from the LFA President, Mustapha Raji.
“Apologies accepted dear president; we have the same challenges all over the continent to allow better inclusiveness of our young people for human development. Liberia and Guinea are sister countries. Congratulations to Bountou Sylla; your country is proud of you”, Diallo said.