MONROVIA – Liberia Football Association President Mustapha Raji has expressed his disappointment with stakeholders and presidents of football clubs, citing “poor attendance” at the Club Licensing workshop.
Raji made these remarks on Wednesday at the LFA headquarters in Congo Town during the commencement of a two-day Club Licensing workshop involving all clubs in both the male and female Upper Women’s Divisions.
In a typically gentle yet emphatic manner, the LFA chief didn’t conceal his frustration regarding the workshop’s attendance, which coincided with the start of the new league season. He stated, “As a federation, we continue to invest more, but we’re getting less in return, as evidenced by what we’re witnessing here today: 42 clubs, but the attendance is inadequate,” Raji lamented.
Furthermore, the president emphasized that such initiatives are designed to foster football development, which, in turn, contributes to the success everyone aspires to witness in the national teams.
Meanwhile, the president issued a clarion call to all club presidents to professionalize their teams because he believes that the success of the national team is “solely” dependent on the quality of their coaches and the talent of their players. Raji elaborated, “The success of the national team hinges entirely on club football and the professionalization of clubs. If the clubs are not professional and fail to develop good, high-quality players, the negative repercussions will affect the national team.”
He added, “When the results are poor, the blame falls solely on the coaches of the senior national team. However, these coaches inherit players who come through your structures, and you, as club president, are the ones complaining. Therefore, you must pay close attention so that when these training opportunities arise, you can take advantage of them,” Raji emphasized.
In separate remarks, LFA Secretary-General Atty. Kollie Dorko encouraged all clubs to capitalize on the opportunities created by the football association. He stated, “We will continue to provide training opportunities for development, particularly in women’s football.”
Dorko highlighted that success on the field goes beyond mere footballing skills and match results. It also depends on the structure, infrastructure, and operations of the clubs. “How well you are organized and the quality of your operations matter,” Atty Dorko asserted.
Among the lecturers at the workshop, which concludes on Thursday, are First Instant Board (FIB) chairman Cllr. Cole Jeror Bangalu, Club Licensing Manager Mohamed Sheriff, and his deputy, Benjamin Barchue.