Sports Stakeholders criticize Senegalese Appointment By: Julius Konton

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President Joseph Nyuma Boakai recent appointment of Alioune Kebe as Ambassador at Large for Youth and Sports Development has been heavily criticized by Stakeholders and executives within the sector.  In a appointment letter dated April 10, 2024 which was also confirmed by Presidential Press Secretary Kula Fofana, the Senegalese national among other things was appointed for his dedication and contribution to Sports development in Liberia and his invaluable contribution to the training of youth in Liberia.  However, Stakeholders and executives within the sector argued that Mr. Kebe at no time worked to help improve the sector and has not made any tangible contribution to Sports development in Liberia contrary to what was mentioned in the appointment letter by President Boakai.  President Boakai,  the Stakeholders in the sector believe was misled and also alleged that the former Senegalese National’s appointment was based on his alleged link with the Political Advisor to President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Macdela Cooper, something we cannot independently verified. According to investigation, Kebe has a share in former Liberian goalkeeper Nathaniel Sherman’s goalkeeper academy.  The Academy was previously named Sham Hands Professional Goalkeeping Academy, but after negotiations, the academy’s name was changed to Kebe Goalkeeper Academy. Kebe doesn’t own the Kebe Goalkeeper’s Academy contrary to what has been circulating in the local media rather it is owned by former national team goalkeeper and former captain Nathaniel Sherman, who is finalizing documentation for Kebe to have a share in the academy. The controversial appointee has been struggling for a club to buy in the top flight of Liberian football and was turned down by Freeport FC when he tried to buy it. It is also alleged by the Stakeholders that President Boakai doesn’t really have an idea of the appointment or knows Kebe rather an alleged close official in his office is the one pushing Kebe for the position. Born on November 24, 1984, Alioune Kébé  is a former Senegalese football striker.  According to reports, Kebe is the owner of Senegalese club Mayacine Foot Centre but does not have a club neither any sports related investment in Liberia.  The angry sports Stakeholders also blasted that the controversial appointment by the Liberian leader is a indirect slap in their faces. ” We have several ex-professionals who are overly qualified and competent to occupied such positions, why we will be here looking for job and are qualified than the President is looking for Foreigners and aliens to give them job to do”,  this is sad and appears very insensitive to the unemployment cry of the people “, the angry Stakeholders of the sporting sector told our reporter. There are also speculations in the corridors that there are inside  heavy political under tune and weight behind Kebe’s appointment as he appears untouchable. But the Stakeholders frowned  that it is a bad start for the sector under the Boakai’s administration and an unfortunate one for an administration that brags that they will not do business as usual and “if this is what it means of not doing business as usual”, then we are in a complete different mess altogether”, they re-emphasized. As the criticism of President Boakai’s  Kebe appointment continues in the sporting sector, The Ministry of Youth of Sports is said to be  battling budget support crisis. It can be recalled on Wednesday April 24, 2024, The Minister of Youth and Sports Cllr. Jeror Cole Bangalu appeared at the Budget hearing at the National Legislature through the joint budget committee to justify reasons why it is key for the Ministry to experience increment in its budget unlike before. According to investigation, the current budget of the Youth and  Sports Ministry is projected at 2,998,201 united states dollars something Minister Bangalu wants to be increased especially durle to several different programs and components associated with the Ministry to include, Sports, Youth Development and vocational and technical education as well as skills training respectively. However, it can be recalled that the Fiscal Year 2023 budget was in the tune of 6,862,801 united states dollars. According to reliable information, the total PSIP amount of 2.5M is inclusive of the total budget amount of 6.8M.  Even though others praised President Boakai for his appointment of the Senegalese as Liberia’s Ambassador at Large for  Youth and Sports Development, the decision by the President continues to suffer heavy criticism and severe lashes as most of them have called on the Liberian leader to revoke such appointment in the interest of the sector the people at large.

 

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