The government of Liberia through the Ministry of Youth and Sports has constituted a three-man committee headed by Liberia National Olympic Committee Chairperson Philbert Brown and two members of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia to investigate the processes leading to Liberia being disqualified from the 2022 WAFU under 17 men’s Nations Cup due to over age players.
It can be recalled on Monday, October 3, 2022, the President of the Liberia Football Association, Mustapha Raji informed the public that two of the 20 players were discovered to be overage after they failed the mandatory age test done by a magnetic resonance imaging or MRI scan.
The LFA boss indicated that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said Liberia’s registration of ineligible players violates article 27.4 of the tournament rules, and as such, they were immediately disqualified from participating.
The decision by CAF means Sierra Leone who defeated Mauritania 3-0 has been declared qualified along with hosts Mauritania for the semifinal.
However, the Youth and Sports Minister Zeogar Wilson at a news conference on Tuesday, October 4, 2022, in Paynesville mentioned those involved will be held accountable; something according to him, the LFA is the technical arm of the national team of Liberia.
According to him, the Liberia Football Association which manages the national team could have done better to avoid the country being embarrassed in such a situation.
He added that three men’s investigative committee will use 60 days to conclude their fact finds and make an official report.
“To get to the bottom of the situation, I want the committee to hold discussions with the players, parents, and some LFA members. Whoever committed the act that resulted in the nation’s exclusion will be held accountable. I listened to the LFA presser on Monday, but they didn’t accept responsibility for what happened. Who do you believe should bear the blame if something goes wrong, as the manager of the National team? “Minister Wilson enquires.
The Minister for Youth and Sports added that President George Weah, the Chief Patron of Sports, had reportedly given his serious consent to the current circumstances. He claims to have previously informed the president of the events.
“To admit, the President is aware of this whole situation; and I repeat, following a full investigation, those involved will be held accountable to prevent future reoccurrence, the Liberia Youth and Sports Minister concludes”.
Reported by: Sylvester Tamba