LFA Reacts To US$19,500 Honorariums Payment To 13 ECMs



Monrovia – The Liberia Football Association (LFA) has described as a “bad headline” the Wednesday, July 20, 2016 backpage lead sports story in the FrontPageAfrica (FPA) newspaper.

Danesius Marteh, [email protected]

Responding to the story under the caption, Feasting On Football? LFA pays US$19,500 to 13 ECMs as honorariums while staff gets two months, LFA President Musa Bility said there was nothing illegal about the payment.

“Firstly, it was a bad headline. You go and make the story and talked about we are feasting. We are responsible people. The US$250,000 [that comes from Fifa] is nothing to feast on. So I didn’t distribute money. Every month, the executive committee supposed to take it.

“That was approved [by congress] since [March] 2010. From the time we had the reelection in [March] 2014 up to now, they have not taken it because we don’t take this money unless we find the need or if the money is available for it,” said Bility. 

Those who make-up the Executive Committee are Bility, Musa Shannon, Vice President for Administration; Cassell Kuoh, vice President for operations; Ciatta Bishop, Rochell Woodson, Maxwell Kemayah, Sheba Brown, Ansu Dulleh, Wallace Weiah, Bishop Allan Klayee, Samuel Karn, Uriah Glaybo and Matthew Smith as members.

“We owed the executive committee for 30 months. So we paid them for six months. Hello!!! What is wrong with that! The employees take pay all the time and they will continue to take pay but what we have done is the right thing to do. Everybody is happy. It is [July] 26th time. So everybody got to carry something home,” Bility added.

Appearing on Weekend Sports on Fabric 101.1FM on July 16, LFA treasurer Jallah D. Corvah was compelled to dispel leaked information that each ECM received US$1,500 and not US$3,500 respectively.

According to article 49.1 of the LFA statutes, the executive committee shall meet at least 12 times every year.

Continuing, it says the President shall convene the executive committee meeting. If six members of the executive committee request a meeting, the President shall convene it within seven days.

But Bility said they were paid because Fifa increased its financial assistance program (FAP) to all members from US$250,000 to US$500,000.

“One of the things that we tried to do was to allow everyone to benefit. In the coming league, we are going to give a little token of appreciation to first division and second division clubs. So everybody is going to benefit; why the executive committee shouldn’t get some?

“They are working very hard for it. The place you are working, you take pay. So why are you engage in defamation of the LFA, which is unfortunate but this US$250 [monthly] is nothing to these people. They can’t even pay their drivers [with it],” Bility disclosed. 

Asked whether the payment was in conformity with the FAP regulations, Bility said: “Liberia Football Association is one of the most transparent football federations in the world. We’ve been given money for being transparent but I guess you people are blind to that. We are clean!” 

According to Bility, the least employee earns US$110 from US$15 while the highest staff gets US$2,500 from US$250 but salary arrears remains one of his perennial problems since his induction on March 27, 2010.

The whooping payment to ECMs has greatly affected the much-publicized July 26 package for the employees, who were owed for April, May, June and July but are now owed for June and July.

According to Corvah, the monthly wage bill of the LFA has moved from US$3,500 to US$17,000 since Bility took over. In April 2010, the LFA paid more than US$8,000 each as honorarium to 18 ECMs for four years.

At a Sports Writers Association of Liberia (Swal) debate on March 13, 2014 ahead of the Buchanan congress, ECMs seeking reelection justified receiving the payment while those, like LISCR FC President Mustapha Raji and Wilmot Smith, pledged to wave theirs when elected.

The LFA denied making a payment of US$576,000 when the news was first reported by FPA.