LFA Crowns Breweries FA Cup Champions; Barrolle To Appeal Fine

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Monrovia – The Liberia Football Association (LFA) has formally crowned Monrovia Club Breweries as champions of its knockout competition (LFA Cup).

The brief ceremony was held at its headquarters on August 4 with Breweries fully represented.

Breweries were leading 1-0 in an epic final at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) when fans believed to be supporting Mighty Barrolle disrupted the match in the 87th minute by attacking the match officials on July 31.

Center referee Jerry Yekeh, assistant referees Elisha Johnson and Joseph Hoff and fourth official George Rogers escaped unhurt on board an ambulance.

Breweries took a 29th minute lead through defender Blidi Jackson from an indirect kick after goalkeeper Tito Wesseh intentionally caught the ball from a pass by defender Michael Jaesue.

For much of the match, Breweries were the better side and enjoyed their possession based-game as Barrolle struggled to impose themselves.

But what should have been a fine match turned chaotic when the fans invaded the pitch and physically attacked Yekeh for “cheating” and claimed he denied the Rollers a penalty.

Speaking at the ceremony, LFA President Musa Hassan Bility disclosed that Barrolle interim president Eugene Nagbe regretted the unfortunate situation.

Bility said 15 fans, who were caught on camera, will be banned indefinitely from watching local and international matches organized by the LFA and its partners.

“We have their names and photos on camera and all would be published in newspapers and [broadcast] on radio [stations]. I want for everybody to know that no one is above the rules governing the game of football and we will punish anyone caught in such an act,” he promised.

Bility told Breweries to keep the trophy forever because of their brilliant performances in the second division and knockout competitions.

Breweries, who were promoted to the first division along with Barrolle and Jubilee FC, had 47 points while BYC-II had 38 points and Barrolle had 36 points.

BYC-II couldn’t be promoted because it is regarded as a feeder team but article one, section 3.1 of the 2016 regulations says the LFA first, second and women’s leagues are all promotional.

Continuing, it says the LFA shall not accept any club from any division to be registered as a feeder club in any other division as the LFA does not run feeder leagues.

Breweries will receive L$393,750 and represent Liberia in the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup but Barrolle’s L$112,500 reward will be subjected to a L$100,000 fine imposed for the crowd disturbances.

Breweries will also receive L$393,750 as second division champions while BYC-II will receive L$140,625. Their president, Zauah David, described their success and continental representation as a serious challenge.

“I am pleased to say here thank you to my head coach, members of his technical staff and players for our success in Liberian football but I am urging them to remain vigilant for our international challenge to come in the CAF Confederation competition,” he said.

Meanwhile Barrolle secretary-general Ivan Brown told FrontPageAfrica that they’ll take an appeal. Brown said the severe punishment will affect the club’s preparation ahead of the 2016/2017 national league.

“The leadership of Barrolle, headed by President Eugene Nagbe, is going to engage the leadership of the LFA with high respect in order for us to talk to them so that we all will come to one understanding that will be in the interest of us all as sports officials,” he said.

Brown condemned the fans’ uncivilized behavior and admonished them to go and sin no more.

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