Monrovia - The Liberia Football Association (LFA) Competition Department has confirmed that Maryland County 3rd Division club, Great Atina FC, will not participate in the National 3rd Division Playoff.
The Football house Chairman on Competition, Ansu Dulleh, said the LFA received a communication from the club from Maryland that they cannot participate in the league due to financial and other reasons.
Speaking to FrontPage Africa, in an exclusive interview Mr. Dulleh, who is also an Executive Committee member of the LFA said, “We have received a communication from Maryland County asking the LFA to excuse them from participating in the playoff due to financial reasons, which we have accepted because we cannot force a club to participate in the league once they are not ready.”
Even though the LFA said it is due to financial reason the club cannot make it to form part of the promotional league for the 2nd Division, it is believed that the clubs from Maryland County are unable to travel from the southeast due to the players engagement with their counties’ teams but Dulleh wonders why will the teams want to use the County Meet as an excuse for not participating in the playoff.
It can be recalled that several 3rd division football clubs from southeastern Liberia complained that the new schedule for the staging of the LFA National 3rd Division Playoff was not timely.
Clubs from Maryland, Grand Gedeh and Sinoe Counties that qualified to play in the 2017 National 3rd Division Playoff said the timing of the competition could see them miss out on participating.
The club officials told ELBC Sports in September that the new schedule was too close to the kickoff to the 2017/18 National County Sports Meet.
According to officials from Great Atina FC, Gaye FC, Apby FC, and Saydee FC their players may not be on hand for the National Playoff due to their involvement with their respective county teams for the National County Sports Meet.
Apby FC and Great Atina who had their players in Monrovia two months ago for the tournament say returning to capital City for the National Playoff poses serious financial problem on clubs from the south eastern.
Most third division players across the country are currently justifying their inclusion with different counties teams.
The playoff is staged annually to see which three teams get promotion from the third tier of Liberian Football to the second division.
Speaking further, Dulleh said the race for promotion to the second division will kickoff Saturday, November 11, and ends on November 23 while the County meet will starts of December 2, 2017 something he feels will not create conflict for the players representing their various counties.
In his words the absence of the clubs will not cause problem for the competition assuring Liberians that the playoff will go on as planned.
Dulleh asserted, “Everything is okay; money is not our problem because we are given the necessary support from the LFA for the running of the League.”
He said the 2016/2017 league has not ended because the women league’s second phase and the national third division playoff has not come to an end noting once both competitions come to an end they will officially end the 2016/2017 league.
Below is the draw for the playoff.
Group (A) consists of Young Vision FC, Barsam Al Mighty FC, Gaye FC and Bristol FC.
Group (B) members are NPA Anchors FC, Sandi FC, and Page’s FC.
Group © is made up of Kodoo FC, Saydee FC and Free Port FC While group (D) members include Golden FC, JR Barcelona and Samira FC.