Monrovia – The Liberia Football Association (LFA) has banned central Referee Josephus Torjilar for two years with immediate effect.
The Football House’s decision followed an investigation of bribery allegations against the referee.
The investigation was conducted by the FA’s Grievance and Disciplinary Committee and Integrity and Compliance Officer Morris Nahndi Barsi Giah.
In a release issued on Monday August 12, the LFA said during its investigation on July 30th, Referee Torjilar admitted to have received L$20,000 (US$100) through a mobile money transfer after a Second Division relegation play-off match between Srimex FC and Pags FC at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) on 21st July. Pags won the match 2-0.
“The committee found Referee Torjilar’s admittance a violation of chapter 13, section 2 point 3 of the rules governing the 2019 Orange-sponsored LFA National League,” LFA said.
Chapter 13 section 2 point 3 of the rules of the Orange-sponsored national league states “any referee(s) or match official(s) accused of taking bribe shall be investigated by the disciplinary committee and if found guilty, such match official shall be banned for two years.”
Referee Torjilar was also found guilty of having violated chapter 13, section 2 point 6, which states, “Match officials are not allowed to accept gifts of any kind from members of clubs, etc. (cash or kind) before, during and after a match. Match official(s) caught will be immediately suspended.”
During the investigation, Torjilar is said not to have disclosed the name of the club, which allegedly gave him the bribe money after he was pressured to do so.
Both Pags and Srimex, which did not make it to remain in the Second Division League, are believed to face investigation if they are linked to the bribery.
Torjilar is among six match officials, who have been suspended by the LFA in the last one year.
Torjilar was tipped to replace current LFA Secretary General Isaac Montgomery as FIFA badge referee. Montgomery retired as referee following his appointment to head the secretarial of the LFA.
“All LFA members, sub-associations, sub-committees, affiliates and partners, including the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Liberia National Old-timers Association (LONA), are hereby asked to observe and enforce referee Torjilar’s ban,” the LFA release said.