Liberia FA Election: Raji, Shannon & Solo Battle to Replace Bility

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Monrovia – The race to succeed businessman Musa Bility as head of the Liberia Football Association is officially on.


Report by Macaulay Sombai, macaulay.sombaifrontpageafricaonline.com


The LFA electoral committee gave three aspirants the greenlight Thursday to contest the much-coveted Presidential race.

Those in the clear include the President of the defending football champs Mustapha I. Raji of LISCR FC, Musa Shannon, current Vice President for Administration and a for former defender of Invincible Eleven, Mr. George G. Solo.

They were given the green light to contest for the LFA presidency after been scrutinized and cleared up by members of the association’s Electoral committee headed by Chairperson Saifuah Mai Gray.

Four people were qualified to contest for the position of vice President for administration and three were named to contest for the position of vice President for operation.

Those qualified to contest for the position of vice President for administration are Sekou W. Konneh, Current Vice President for Operations Ciatta Bishop Executive Committee member Sekou Keita, President of Invincible Eleven, and Saye-Tayor A. Dolo, President of Nimba United.

The three qualified aspirants for the position of vice President for operations are Ansu V.S. Dulleh Chair on Competitions at the LFA, J. Allen Klayee, President Jubilee FC and Wilmot F. Smith, former second division outfit Georgia FC President.

Judie Seton was named as the only qualified candidate to contest for the position of female slot at the executive committee of the LFA.

All candidates were given the right to carry out campaigning from March 29, 2018 to April 13, 2018. 

With all the candidates lined up, much attention is expected to be placed on the race for the presidency.

Ahead of Thursday’s announcement, both Solo and Shannon were vocal about their rival, Raji, over his education credentials but the electoral committee made it clear that the protest lacked sufficient evidence and was not enough to deny the LISCR FC President a shot at the presidency with elections set for April 14, 2018.

Although he is out of contention for the presidency after serving two terms, Bility has come under fire amid allegations that he has been working behind the scenes to interfere in the elections.

Rochell Woodson, who was hoping to be the only female candidate in the race, wrote a letter to FIFA general secretary Fatma Samoura, on March 19, 2018 in which she sought the intervention of the sports governing body, over fears that Bility was trying to interfere and that the elections may be marred by fraud. 

Bility’s reign has been plagued by corruption, the most notable, allegations that his administration misappropriated US$50,000 of FIFA funds to help combat the Ebola epidemic.

Ironically, two aspirants who were questioning the credibility of the upcoming elections did not make the cut when the electoral committee gave the greenlight Thursday.

Woodson, who was hoping to contest the LFA presidency, took issues against what was termed multiple breaking of the LFA statutes and deliberate withholding of information, including the listing of candidates and changing of eligibility criteria for candidates.

Woodson withdrew in protest, an issue the electoral committee shied away from addressing Thursday.

In the race for the Presidency, the three candidates have very little in common accept that both Shannon and Solo are former footballers, while Raji is the only with administrative experience at club level.

Shannon has come under fire and will likely face bashing due to the conspicuousness of his ties to the corruption-laden Bility administration. Bility and Shannon have both admitted receiving a share of the Ebola cash for personal use but neither has been sanctioned, despite a FIFA audit in the country last December.

That audit also reportedly discovered an unaccounted for $700,000 from the LFA accounts. The money was issued to Bility’s wife and son via cheques signed by himself.

Mr. Bility immediately claimed his signature was a forgery and informed the Liberian National Police who he said had opened an investigation. No results of the investigation have been released.

Woodson was hoping that FIFA would make the audit findings public prior to the elections in a bid to decipher tainted candidates from the race.

The Race For The Presidency

Mustapha Raji, the President of 1st division LISCR FC said he is hoping to promote and develop the game and rescue it from the views as impostor stakeholders.

On his plans for the LFA: “It’s my right to contest and am happy that Congress will decide, and I know Congress will vote for me, because past records are there….and Congress know that I am not going at the EC to hustle or condone the idea of honorarium advance for committee members,” Raji stated.

“I am a pragmatic man,…I am going there to advocate on behalf of football, the stakeholders know me, Bility knows, CAF and FIFA know me…I am a realist.” 

George Solo, the former Chairman of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) was a top defender for Invincible Eleven before moving to Tunisia, Belgium and Mexico, where he continued to ply his trade before venturing into politics. Solo has been Vice President of first division side, Nimba FC since 2014

He launched his career as a Defender and holding midfielder with (PASA) Paynesville All-Stars Sports Association D3 1991-1993 and later Invincible Eleven Majestic Sports Association D1- 1993-1995.

He moved to Tunisia where he played for USBG /Olympic COT (Club Transport Tunisien) 1995-1997 and Division I side Itihad FC in Saudi Arabia from 1997-1999. In Belgium, he played for Antwerp FC in Belgium D2 in 1999 and Puebla FC (Lobos) from 1999-2002.

On his plans for LFA: “We must decentralize football and create an opportunity for every person and community to embrace, love and enjoy the beautiful game-Time for Change in Liberian Football! We have to clean the image and reputation of football in Liberia and improve our technical skills to compete regionally and globally.”

Musa shannon was a standout in the US Major League soccer. He was selected by the Tamba Bay Mutiny in the third round as the 28th overall pick in the college draft. Besides playing in the US, Shannon played professionally in Portugal and China.

Shannon has come under fire and will likely face bashing due to the conspicuousness of his ties to the corruption-laden Bility administration. Bility and Shannon have both admitted receiving a share of the Ebola cash for personal use but neither has been sanctioned, despite a FIFA audit in the country last December.

During his stint as Acting President last year, Shannon was involved in a public spat with former Lone Star head Coach James Salinsa Debbah, declaring that the coach should resign his post instead of expressing his disenchantment over the delay in payment of his salary.

“If you feel you have not been paid by your employer for seven months and you are qualified, it’s better you resign or better stay without complaining,” Shannon said.

“In the last eight years we brought commercialization to football but I will bring professionalization to the beautiful game, I will create more training for coaches and administrators of football. Is time we look at the grass root football development so that we can compete with other countries.”

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