‘Conflict of Interest’ Engulfs LFA?

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A sport promoter group under the banner of ‘Citizens United for the Promotion and Development of Sports’ (CUPDS) has described the appointment of the former President of Gardnerville Football Club, as Secretary General of the Liberia Football Association (LFA), as conflict of interest. Currently owned by Montserrado County Senator, Saah H. Joseph, Gardnerville FC was then the feeder side of LISCR FC, of which LFA President Mustapha Raji is the Chief Executive Officer when newly unveiled SG Emmett Crayton was President.

It can be recalled that the LFA officially unveiled its new Secretary General Emmett Crayton to co-workers last Thursday, 20 June following his endorsement by the Executive Committee (EC) two days prior.  Mr. Crayton replaces Atty. Kollie Dorko who resigned his post 30 April after 16 months in the job, after taking over from Isaac T.Z. Montgomery, who served a four-year term.

Both Raji and 1st Vice President Professor Sekou Konneh were at the height of the ceremony attended by scores of employees. Accordingly, CUPDS in a statement indicated that while there may be no law on the book that prohibits such appointment, it sees the decision as conflict of interest on grounds that the Secretariat will not work independently of the presidency as it should. The group pointed out that with Liberia’s football development being at a crossroad under the wheel of Mr. Raji, there is a need for an independent and vibrant secretariat that will make things work for the betterment of the game. “The Citizens United for the Promotion and Development of Sports concern has been drawn to the recent appointment and subsequent unveiling of Mr. Emmett Crayton as Secretary General of the Liberia Football Association, which we see as conflict of interest. CUPDS believes that the LFA needs an independent and vibrant Secretariat that will make things work for the benefit of Liberian football lovers. As such, the appointment of Emmett Crayton, who once served as President of Gardnerville FC, then owned by Raji, does not augur well for football improvement in our country. We know many would say that our argument has no legal basis because there is no law on the book that forbids that, CUPDS in the human sense views this decision as a conflict of interest,” said the group.  “Whenever we raise these critical concerns, people see us as anti-Raji, but that’s not the case – our aim and objective is to pressure policymakers in the sports arena to improve sports, most especially football, which is most widely played game in our country.”  

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