Liberia: Konneh Cautions Clubs To Be Administratively Structured
Congo Town – Liberia Football Association’s 1st vice president, Sekou Konneh, says clubs will continue to endure difficulties if they are individually run rather than administratively structured. The acting LFA president noted that amidst some of the challenges clubs are faced with, it would be unrealistic for clubs to have individuals singlehandedly playing all of their roles.
By Jaheim T. Tumu- [email protected]
Konneh said, “It puts a lot of burden on you if you are running a club without an administrative structure. I know some of you will say it is difficult to get people to volunteer because they want something from you at the end of the day.” He continued, “The late T. Kpan Nimely, a Liberian folksinger, used to say, ‘I am looking for something to eat, then something wants to eat me.’ But basically, it is about how you encourage others to be a part of you. You are alone and can’t carry this burden.”
“When we call for the president’s workshop, you are here. When we say secretary-generals, you are here. When we say team managers, you are here. So who are you now? Are you a Tarzan that will put everything on your head?” he said. Konneh, who spoke at the end of a two-day FIFA-sponsored administration and marketing workshop for women’s lower league clubs, recognized that clubs at the higher level have challenges. However, he encouraged officials to change their strategies.
“You will have to learn to trust others with responsibilities. You have to give people a chance. Tell someone that he or she is going to represent the club at LFA. Even if there is nothing to say, he or she can learn something,” he said. “You will have to first structure your clubs to attract sponsorship, whether big or small. I was speaking to officials of SuperSport when BYC played them [in the CAF Confederation Cup in April 2017] in South Africa about how much their FA gave them. At that time, clubs in Liberia weren’t receiving subvention from the LFA,” he narrated.
Adding, “And the guys were telling me that they haven’t collected their funds for two years. Our old people say when you see a monkey crossing the road with a bunch of bananas, the one in the stomach is enough. So they had sponsorship and other things that they weren’t in a hurry to collect funds from their FA. I pray and hope that Liberian clubs will one day reach that level, but it must start with administrative structures.”
LFA’s 3rd vice president, Jodie Reid-Seton, called on participants to market their clubs innovatively to attract potential investors. She also urged participants to share the knowledge they acquired from the training.
“What comes to your mind when you think about marketing, branding, or administration? Marketing is innovation. What you package to put out that you want people to buy is important,” she said. “I see that sometimes people are too afraid to make mistakes. You have to make mistakes to learn from them. Don’t get me wrong. I am not talking about doing things deliberately,” Jodie said.
Also addressing the occasion, the technical director of the LFA, Henry Browne, explained the chain of football administration. He pleaded with the clubs to take the workshop seriously as FIFA has given the football house two years to develop a lower league for women.