Clubs Lose In Court
Cllr. Izetta Wesley-LFA President
By Julu M. Johnson, Jr.
Clubs boycotting this year’s national league of the Liberia Football
Association (LFA) lost their quest to bring the festival to a halt
A court hearing was expected to take place on August 14, 2008, after
a preliminary injunction barred the LFA from “carrying out further
The clubs lost on Tuesday when the court dropped the injunction
against the LFA to put a halt to the ongoing national league.
The clubs that took the matter to court on Monday, August 4, 2008
were led by LPRC Oilers, Watanga, NPA Anchors and LISCR FC. The rest
include Devereux, Rangers FC, Exodus, 72nd FC, Jasmine Rangers and
Small Town International.
Despite the action by the clubs to boycott the national league
because they wanted the event to take place in mid October so as to
escape the rainy season and to increase the prizes for winners, the
LFA still chose to go ahead with the number of teams available.
The LFA’s decision to run the league and failure to bow the clubs’
demands prompted the aggrieved parties clubs to file a notice of
Preliminary Injunction on before his Honour Yussif D. Kaba, assigned
The court decided to drop the case on grounds that it was a sports
matter that needed not to be handled at the Temple of Justice.
Following the ruling on Tuesday, legal practitioners in the sporting
arena argued that the aggrieved clubs should not have gone to court
in that the LFA has an Arbitration Committee to discuss disputes
from parties in soccer.
They declared: “According to the LFA statutes, the Grievance
Committee listens to grievances from parties. Decisions from the two
bodies are apealable before the Appeal Board.
“The Appeal Board of the LFA listens to all matters arising from the
Grievance and Arbitration Committees.
“Aside from the LFA rules, the clubs should have had the Liberia
National Olympic Committee (LNOC) involved through its Arbitration
“If that process is not satisfactory, you can appeal to FIFA and if
FIFA’s decision is not satisfactory, then the last resort is the
Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Lausane, Switzerland.
“A party appealing may not necessarily be represented in person at
the CAS. The head of court may appoint a sole arbitrator to
represent the party’s interest.
“As FIFA, the world soccer governing body, bars matters from going
outside the sporting arena, the clubs should have exhausted all of
the local remedies. Instead, they have not shown a situation wherein
their issue can be handled by the Grievance and Arbitration
Committees. They have missed the trend.”
A spokesman for the aggrieved clubs, Andy Quamie, has been calling
for a full sponsorship of the league, attractive financial rewards
and conducive playing venues.
Quamie of Watanga FC said, "We also want a rescheduling of the
league to October, the start of the dry season, as the heavy rains
this time of the year have a great impact on the wear and tear of
our playing equipment."
Quamie: "We can't imagine the LFA is pushing us to play at venues
with no security at all. The fans have access to the players and
match officials and the playing field. This is an unsafe environment
for our players.”
Despite the claims by the clubs, the LFA says through its
Secretary-General, George Wah Williams, that the teams are being
insensitive with their demands.
"The LFA is looking into improving the league through sponsorship
but with the teams bickering, it would be difficult to attract such
a deal," Mr. Williams said.
"They must understand the overall economic and infrastructural
challenges we are facing, and be realistic in their demands."
The LFA has revealed that it is in talks with a Ghana based firm
Avantis over a US$160,000 sponsorship deal for the league
It is not known where now the aggrieved clubs would take their
protest after being slapped in the face by the court in Monrovia.