MONROVIA – The participation of the Amputee National Football team of Liberia in the upcoming Amputee Nations’ cup final in Angola is in doubt as a result of financial reasons.
Report by Jaheim T Tumu, [email protected]
According to the Ministry of Youth and Sports, they have no plan to support more than one national team participating in international competitions.
But the president of the Amputee Federation of Liberia, Mr. Cooper George, said it would be disheartening if the former African champion does not participate in the tournament that kicks off in September to be held in Angola.
“If Liberia amputee team is not in the tournament in Angola, it would be frustrating for the three-time African champions, Mr. George said.
“We expressed our dissatisfaction when the Youth and Sports Minister said that the Ministry won’t finance any federation in international competition.”
“The Nations Cup is right in September and we have to be there as the defending champions. If our flag is not hoisted, it will be a disgrace,” George disclosed.
The Amputee president, however, said that the federation has written the office of the President of Liberia and does have a letter for the Legislature to raise their concerns.
The Liberia Amputee football team has won African the competition three times.
The team became dominant in the tournament back in 2008 when they defeated Sierra Leone at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium to clinch the trophy before their penalties shootout victory against Ghana in Accra in 2011.
They repeated the fate and defended the trophy beating Angola in 2014 in Kenya.
Like the amputee federation, the athletics federation has been told that they will not get any fund for international tournament
According to the LAF president, Mr. Mulbah Zaza, they have not received a dime from the government for the past six years despite being aware of the progress in international tournaments.
“The Youth and Sports Ministry has been in the know of our progress but they have said no money,” Mr. Zaza said.
Adding, “Besides, the Minister said that they won’t support any federation going out of Liberia to represent the country on international tournament but they will support local program and our federation is mostly on international engagement.”
But making clarity on the allegations, the Minister of Youth and Sports, D. Zoegar Wilson, agreed with the Federations’ claims but said the decision was taken due to the current budgetary constraint the Ministry is faced with.
Minister Wilson stressed that this year budget which is in the tone of US$2.5 million cannot match the previous budget in the last fiscal year which was 3.3 million finance all of the federations as they have the responsibility to work within the budget.
“I told the federations there is a limited budget situation; so we will not be able to sponsor more than one national team but their subsidiary in the budget remains what it is it,” Minister Wilson said.
“I know if the revenue situation improves, we will be able to help other national teams. We do not just want to turn our eyes on your federations but in the absence of financial resource it is just difficult,” he clarified.