YOUNG LIBERIAN PLAYERS APPEAL TO PRESIDENT WEAH
Monrovia – A group of 17 young Liberian players, who won a FIFA court ruling in April 2018 after a club from the South -Eastern Asian nation of Laos, IDSEA Champasak United for forcibly signing them to play in the Laos premier league are calling on the Chief Patron of Sports, President George Weah, to intervene on their behalf to get their benefits.
The players were invited for an academy program in 2015, which turned out to be a fiasco.
After a three-year investigation with the aid of world players union, FIFpro, which provided a legal team as FIFA took up the case, the minors from Liberia won a FIFA ruling after the club was found guilty of breaching FIFA regulation on minors as the club forcibly signed them to play in the Laotian premier league.
FIFA then ruled in favor of the Liberian minors indicating that a payment of US$700,000 be paid to the minors. But to date, the players are yet to get such payment from FIFA. This has raised eyebrows as the players are worrisome. They are calling for President George Manneh Weah to kindly intervene in his capacity as Global Football Ambassador.
FIFpro described the whole process of the players’ movement and signing as “human trafficking” as they complained the Laotian FA and the club to FIFA, which was involved in infringing on the rights of the minors.
Speaking on behalf of the players, Boakai Molu, Fred Brooks and Amadiya Kawah appealing to President Weah to intervene as FIFA is yet to make the payment to them and are kept in the dark with court ruling already against some of their families who borrowed money from others for them to travel to Ghana before they were transported by IDSEA Champasak United to Laos.
“We have not heard from FIFA since the ruling and we are appealing to President Weah to intervene as he is a Global Football icon and FIFA will hear him and the payment we believe will be made to us,” Fred Brooks pleaded.
“It’s not easy as monies our parents borrowed to enable us travel to Ghana before making the trip to Laos have since accumulated in interest and there are court ruling against us and we believe President Weah can help us out,” Molu stated.
Amadiya Kawah also appealed to President Weah to intervene as he is an iconic figure and as a highly respected personality that is respected worldwide can communicate with FIFA and expressed optimism that all will be well with them.
The trio currently play their trade with LPRC Oilers, NPA Anchors and LISCR.
It can be recalled that in March 2015, Liberian journalist and the country’s foremost sports analyst, promoter and players advocate, Wleh Bedell, who travelled with the players to Laos showed his patriotism as he alarmed, alerting the Liberia Football Association (LFA), FIFpro and FIFA on the illegal transfer of the minors coupled with the inhumane treatment meted against the players who were made to sleep under a dilapidated stadium with visas all expired and being pursued by immigration authorities.
With the plea from the 17 young Liberian players to President Weah, many are hoping the President, a father and especially a footballer, will act in engaging FIFA as his message on various radio stations calling for the fight against Human Trafficking will certainly serve as one of the many reasons it is generally believed President Weah will intervene promptly in rescuing the current troubled situation for the players. Since the players return home in 2015 after the club only transported them to Ghana and FIFpro footing their air tickets fare to Liberia say things have being tough and see president Weah with the Grace of God as the one to help them out.