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SWAL leadership accuses LFA of divide and rule tactics

𝘉𝘺 𝘕𝘢𝘯𝘦𝘬𝘢 𝘈. 𝘏𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘮𝘢𝘯

The new leadership of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia headed by Mr. Varmah Kamara has allegedly accused authorities of the Liberia Football Association (LFA) of instigating conflict in the Association over the years.

He made the accusation at the induction of a new corps of officers to steer the affairs of SWAL for the next three years following the December 9, 2023 elections held in Careysburg, Montserrado County.

Those inducted in office over the weekend at the Monrovia City Hall include Varmah Kamara, President; Christopher Walker, Vice President; Edwin Dolo, Secretary General; Naome Tappia, Finance Secretary; Jerome Willie, Assistant Secretary and Yusu Sheriff, Chaplain.

Mr. Vamah said authorities of the Liberia Football Association, headed by Mr. Mustapha Raji   are bent on censorship and creating a division amongst sports journalists in the country, something which took many persons gracing the occasion by surprise.

According to him, the LFA has failed in its responsibilities to strengthen its relationship with SWAL as a partner.

“It’s a shame that despite frantic efforts by the outgoing leadership to sign the Memorandum of Understanding between SWAL and LFA to strengthen our bonds has not been utilized under the Mustapha Raji administration.

Unlike in the past, only a few select members of the organization are secretly chosen to cover activities of the football house while the majority of our members are left in the cold to feed on 3rd party information”, Varmah continues.

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He noted that reasons provided by the LFA that it doesn’t have enough money to transport journalists is only a weak defense to continue to deny the full membership access to its activities and to censor or cleverly prevent those sports journalists the LFA considers as critical or not in support of its agenda.

By this, “I am calling on the leadership of the LFA to open its activities to all sports journalists, especially those who took up their time and precious resources to apply for accreditation”. 

Money or no money, kindly extend the invitation to everyone and not a select few as it was done during the regimes of Musa Hassan Bility, Izetta Wesley, and Edwin Melvin Snowe, he added.

According to him, today, the nation’s football house has turned into a secret cult with only a few people privileged to vital information intended for the public.

Varmah: “How many of us know how the new Lonestar Coach and his deputies were hired despite over one hundred applications? Have we asked ourselves about the vetting processes, past performance records, salaries, and benefits? Have we ever asked ourselves why football especially, the national team is failing despite the support given by the national government and opportunities provided by the world football governing body FIFA?”

He stressed a need to ask hard questions about the cost of the new LFA headquarters which has resulted in serious legal rigmarole between the FA and CESAF-Liberia on the one hand, and former Secretary General Isaac Montgomery and President Raji on the other.

He said even the former Lonestar Coach, Ansu Keita has a pending lawsuit against the football house,  but most sports journalists seem to be carried away by  beautiful pictures presented, rather than digging deeper to investigate the wounds that are stalling football development and sports at large in Liberia

He called on his colleagues, sports writers, to set aside greed and individualistic interests and pressure those responsible individuals and governing bodies for a possible outcome in terms of development.

“We have not come to this leadership to target any special group of people or individuals but we will also NOT remain silent for things to collapse in our faces. The sporting sector is a rich mine ready to provide employment opportunities to hundreds of young talented Liberians but the sports writers will have to explore and promote the sector”, he emphasized.

However, in sharp reaction, LFA’s Vice President for Administration Sekou Konneh, urged the SWAL President to stop being antagonist, and rather seek to unite the Association.

Mr. Konneh thinks that the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL) over the years has had an internal conflict with itself, something which he called on the Varmah Kmara-led administration to address instead of blaming the FA. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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