Monrovia – Liberia National Olympic Committee (LNOC) has declined the decision of the Federation of International Basketball Association (FIBA) to reinstate embattled Liberia Basketball Association President T. Rufus Anderson as President of the LBA.
By A Macaulay Sombai.firstname.lastname@example.org 0777217428
In a communication dated April 11, 2020 to FIBA, the LNOC said the decision by FIBA is a difficult one and if honored could destroy basketball in Liberia.
FIBA wrote the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Liberia Olympic Committee on March 16, 2020 to disapprove the incident that occurred during the Elective General Assembly of the LBA on November 30th. FIBA added that they do not recognize Abraham Samukai, who was elected at the congress as the president of LBA.
“FIBA Africa does not recognize the election of the new president of the Liberia Basketball Association emulating from this elective general assembly.
“FIBA Africa calls for reconvening of an elective general assembly in accordance with the status of Liberia Basketball and FIBA Africa within the period of three months from March 19, 2020. These statuses shall be harmonized taking in account FIBA’s legislation,” the continental body’s letter said.
FIBA Africa calls for reconvening of an elective general assembly in accordance with the status of Liberia Basketball and FIBA Africa within the period of three months from March 19, 2020. These statuses shall be harmonized taking in account FIBA’s legislationFIBA Letter to Liberia National Olympic Committee
Responding, the LNOC president, Mr. Philibert S. Browne states, “Mr. Chief Operating Officer, the Liberia National Olympic Committee (LNOC) interposes no objection in carrying out the mandate and requests of FIBA-AFRICA. Unfortunately Sir, during consultations with the Executive Board of the Liberia National Olympic Committee (LNOC) and other relevant stakeholders of the Liberia Basketball Federation (LBF), we have come to realize that your request presents to us with an extremely difficult task to be achieved and implemented.”
The letter further explained that the sport had been downgraded from bad to worse over the years under Anderson’s administration.
The Olympic Committee pointed out that after a meeting of the Executive Committee, they agreed that the request of FIBA Africa Chief Operating Officer Mr. Yira Yacouba for the reinstatement of Anderson’s Administration is not only a death sentence for Basketball but the destruction of the sport that the Liberian people hold dearly to their hearts.
“Please, do not get me wrong, Mr. Yacouba. It appears that if the merits and demerits of what transpired at the Basketball Elections are properly investigated and evaluated, and placed on a scale, the scale will no doubt tilt on the side of the Anderson’s Administration, providing them the opportunity to be reinstated. However, what would the price be for basketball in the country?” he asked.
According to the LNOC, they received a vote of no confidence in Anderson’s Administration signed by the overwhelming majority of stakeholders with voting rights. Out of the 47 registered teams, 38 teams signed in favor of the Vote of No Confidence while 9 teams declined.
Also out of 11 registered First Division Teams, nine signed in favor and two declined; out of eight registered female teams, seven signed in favor and one declined. Out of 10 registered Second Division teams, seven signed in favor and three declined, and out of 18 registered Third Division teams, 15 signed in favor while three declined.
The letter further states, “Unfortunately and regrettably, Mr. Chief Operating Officer, what may be right may not be expedient, and what may be expedient may not be right. In this case, due to the questionable nature of the recent Basketball Elections by all parties, the right thing to do is to reinstate Anderson’s Administration. This move would please and appease Anderson, give him justice, and would assuredly lead to the destruction of Basketball.”
According to LNOC, it is not prudent for FIBA to please an individual at the detriment and destruction of basketball in Liberia and that the Executive Board of the LNOC after consultation with relevant stakeholders, has decided that the most expedient thing to do is to respectfully decline the reinstatement of the Anderson’s Administration to give Basketball a chance for growth and rebirth.
Mr. Brown stressed that they decided full glare and recognition that FIBA is the world governing body for Basketball and an Executive Member of the International Olympic Committee (INOC), which obligates the Olympic Committees to implement the mandate of the Basketball Governing Body and they are also fully aware that one of the most important tasks of the Olympic Committee of Liberia is to protect the autonomy of the Olympic Sports from political interference and discrimination.
“Being conversant of the above mentioned, I cannot in clear conscience, and for the good of the sport, reinstate the Anderson Administration. It is therefore with the utmost respect that I am compelled to hereby decline the request in the interest of the sport because like Marcus Pontius Pilate, I am washing my hands clean and clear of the death and destruction of Basketball in Liberia by reinstating the Anderson’s Administration and I am taking this decision fully aware that I may be summoned for questioning by the IOC Ethics Commission, and that such questioning could result in possible sanctions and reprimands for not acting following the mandate of FIBA-AFRICA.”
Unfortunately and regrettably, Mr. Chief Operating Officer, what may be right may not be expedient, and what may be expedient may not be right. In this case, due to the questionable nature of the recent Basketball Elections by all parties, the right thing to do is to reinstate Anderson’s Administration. This move would please and appease Anderson, give him justice, and would assuredly lead to the destruction of Basketball.”Mr. Phillibert S. Brown, president, Liberia National Olympic Committee
He continued that he will faithfully take the blame as president of the LNOC for declining the reinstatement of the Anderson’s Administration to present the country the needed opportunity for the rebirth and growth of basketball, a game love in Liberia by many. The latest statement from the LNOC is considered a blow in the face of Anderson following the Ministry of Youth and Sports’ refusal, too, to honor the mandate of FIBA.