Liberia: IE Return Top-Flight Football

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Monrovia – Liberia oldest football club Invincible Eleven Football Club  has returned  to the topflight of Liberian football after spending time in the third tier of Liberian football.

The club that produced the only African to have won the World Player of the year George M. Weah got relegated by the FA because they could not pay a fine imposed on the team by the FA for violating the rule of the league.

 Liberian tradition club Invincible Eleven was relegated in 2018/2019 season following the club’s refusal, despite a reminder on the 10 of April, to pay a fine of L$150,000 for refusing to honor a league match away to Nimba Kwado FC in Sanniquellie, Nimba County on 6 April.

Chapter eight, article 10 of the rules governing the Orange-sponsored LFA national league imposes a penalty on clubs refusing to honor league games.

“Without prejudice to any provision in these regulations, the LFA reserves the right to take the appropriate disciplinary actions, including fines, expulsion and relegation against any club, which withdraws from the competition or fails to honor any of its matches,” said LFA secretary-general Isaac Montgomery in a communication confirming the traditional club relegation.

Following their relegation IE spent two seasons in the third division but found it difficult to gain promotion to the second division something many lovers of football in Liberia and IE termed as embarrassing for a club that produce the only African to have won the World best   player of the year and serving as president could not safe the team from going down by paying such amount.

But the club will compete in the top flight of Liberian football once more after former Liberian international  Johnathan Boye Charles Sagbie came to the rescue of the club by purchasing  a apace in the first division.

The news of the club back in the first division was confirm by it vice president for the Union of IE  supporters in the United States of America Timothy G.Bengue via mobile phone interview with FrontPage Africa.

Mr. Bengue disclosed that the club has purchased Barrack Young Controller (BYCII) first division space.

He said the agreement was to secure the spot and some of   the players from BYC II and they are looking at ways to go into other agreements  with BYC for either for  their playing pitch and other things.

BYC II qualify to the first division after finishing as runner-up to champion of the second division Heaven Eleven but the club will not participate in the top flight.

“BYC sold her first division football space to Invincible Eleven /Majestic sports Association. Senator Jonathan Boy Charles Sogbie paid the money after  madam Kaddieyatu Darrah Findley approached him about the opportunity for IE to once more become a first division team after they ware relegated to 3rd division in 2018 and 2019 because of lack of financial support.” Bengue said.

The IE USA-based supporters vice president appreciated Senator Sogbie for his support to the team because having the team in the third division was not good.

“What Senator Sogbie has done will go down in the history of this great club because after many years he has put smile of the faces of the fans his gesture is something I can’t describe but he has made name and brought back live to lovers of our dear Club”

“It was not good news for us as the oldest team in the country to be in the 3rd division so we started looking for ways to get back in the first division.”

He said unlike in the past where the management of the club was questioned and no real structure they will be more professional this time so that the club will not go down again.

“We are going to have an election with new management with new attitude to modernize the organization compared to other teams in the first  division  and not only in Liberia but other countries how it  operates as a business and try to incorporate others to come and support the team”,

“It is not like before where individuals supported  the team from their pocket. We don’t want to go that way, we want to rely on corporate business entities”, Bengue stressed.

He said even though other officials will still support the team from their pocket, it will not be a one man show.

The IE vice president said  they will have some of the best players from BYC II which was part of the agreement and will be in the market for the best young and experienced players to join  IE so as to challenge for trophies.

“I understand that football is not like before where forks use to be happy going to game whether IE or Barrolle fans they  were totally involved with the team or going to games, but for IE fans we plan to encourage them to come to the games because we are in the first division”.

He further said they will have meetings wit the fans in the various communities to have their support and to cheer the team and pay their dues.

As part of the reawaking the spirit of IE Bengue said they will in the soonest possible time organize a preseason tournament with about four teams to tell their fans that the club is back to stay.

I like to say to our fans and supporters that we are back and need their support but want them to come around to support the team in what ever way and we will make them happy”, he said.

“We want to have a better team because if you win you will have all the sport,” the former IE player added

Commenting on the issue of players’ salaries thee executive  said it will not be an issue because even during their time in the 3rd division their players were paid on time so now in the first division they will make sure all their players get their benefits on time.

According to the IE vice president, IE will be a formidable team in the league that will challenge for the championship in Liberia and even play in the CAF champion league.

“We want to win all the trophies in the league and go international so nobody should underrate us,” he said with confidence.

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