AGGRIEVE PLAYERS SPEAK OUT
Monrovia, Liberia – Under the slogan “Bring Back Our Basketball,” some players of the Liberia Basketball Association have raised grave worries about the current leadership conflict at the association. They contend that the circumstance threatens the expansion and advancement of the sport in Liberia.
On November 30, 2019, the Liberia Basketball Association convened its elective congress to elect new executives to manage the organization’s affairs for four years, but things did not go as expected.
Due to the congress’s outcome, in which two parties claimed ownership of the federation. The embattled President Rufus Anderson was recognized by FIBA, while Abraham Samukai and others were recognized by the Liberian government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and the Liberia National Olympic Committee (LNOC). The federation has since been riven by conflict due to the solution of the matter.
Due to the early internal strife, FIBA requested that Mr. Rufus Anderson call a special session of Congress for the body to hold elections in three months. However, to date, he has not carried out the FIBA request. FIBA has placed Liberia on the red list.
Wellay Barr, a Liberia female basketball star on a local radio station (OK FM) on Saturday, June 24, 2023, stated that they have spoken with both parties in an effort to find a mutually agreeable solution to the issue.
According to Miss Wellay, Rufus Anderson, the embattled president of the LBA, informed them during their meeting that he is willing to settle the dispute if both parties follow FIBA communications to the federation.
”Basketball in Liberia is dying as a result of the leadership crisis, thus we are pleading with both parties to resolve the conflict. Due to this strife, which prevented many young players from getting exposure, Liberia has been banned by FIBA from taking part in all international competitions.”
Jonathan Nagbe, a player with the Mighty Barrolle Basketball Club, urged other participants, supporters, and former basketball players to join them in the advocacy. He noted that the sport is slowly dying, and nothing, this will prevent a lot of talent in the country.
Mr. Nagbe noted that basketball should have been a competing sport to soccer in the country. According to him, a survey shows that after football in Liberia, basketball is next in line when talking about sports in Liberia.
“This fight is to save basketball and we want every one of you to join us in doing it together.”
Reported by: Sylvester Tamba