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  • Mustapha Raji to Win LFA Presidency in Style

    first_imgMustaphi RajiIt is always clear when the probabilities are, and not in your favor. Good example is the recent national elections: Anyone with a great sense of realism knew that since the numbers were in favor of the then Ambassador George Weah, winning the elections was a foregone conclusion.But why the other 21 candidates did not realize that or why they refused to accept that reality is for future historians to grapple with.Similarly, Mustapha Raji, president of LISCR FC and Gardnersville FC who recently declared his intention to contest for the Liberia Football Association incoming presidential elections, is favored by a majority of the stakeholders.Interviews conducted among stakeholders recently have confirmed that Raji is their choice. “He is our choice even before the elections are announced,” said a longtime supporter of the man who is adored by his players.The March LFA elections also has three other candidates, they are: Adolphus Dolo, president of Nimba United; Musa Shannon, vice president for administration at the Liberia Football Association; and Rochelle Woodson, an Executive Committee member of the LFA, who has had issues with the current LFA Administration of Hassan Bility.Without a doubt, all the contestants see something wrong with the administration of football in the country. Presently, the LFA owes its employees for the last four months.Again, due to money problems, it may be recalled that the LFA sacked several youth coaches. Sadly, on top of that, the LFA recently reported that US$600,000 fraudulently ‘disappeared’ from the its account when some false documents were presented to FIFA auditors.“Where was Musa Shannon when the money disappeared?” asked another football lover. He said problems affecting Liberian football cannot be divorced from Shannon, which will make his desire to win the LFA presidency difficult.Another said: “Shannon should learn from the past because the majority of the stakeholders are not comfortable with his role at the LFA, especially with the trend of Liberian football.”While Nimba United’s Adolphus Dolo is credited with growing Nimba United and also building a mini-stadium in Mount Barclay, he has had brushes with the LFA and even suffered a two-year suspension for fielding an illegal player in a match which is said to have dented his chances because, by his suspension, it meant that he abused the concept of fair play which is highly encouraged in the game.Ms. Rochell Woodson, a member of the Executive Committee of the LFA, was recently suspended by the same body for her failure to have responded to certain accusations against her. And whether her suspension was fair or not, that it happened has created a credibility problem for her and many stakeholders are not comfortable with her desire to contest the elections.Mustapha Raji, the favorite is the only man left standing tall.A very careful man, he has not kept silent on any issue that affects the development of soccer, the world’s most popular game.In fact, he is on record to have requested the LFA to put the US$600,000 issue as an agenda item to be discussed at the association’s Ordinary Congress, that will take place before the elections in March.Mustapha is reported to have made a huge investment in sports, starting with the youth and two other teams.Each of his teams has over 30 young players who are paid monthly, with medical incentives.“He has a vision for Liberian football,” a stakeholder said. “Raji’s vice president-designate will be Sekou Konneh of BYC Football; and so Liberia soccer will survive the hurdles that frustrate it.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


    first_imgIn mid March word was filtering through from the West of Ireland that the successful Mayo Youth Tour under the guidance of Connacht Cycling was not going ahead due to unforeseen circumstances.The event which attracted an entry of 186 riders from a variety of nations in 2011 was about to be scored off the Irish cycling calendar for 2012. For many young homegrown riders in this country this was devastating news as the ‘Youth Tour’ weekend was the highlight of their summer and their ‘Grand Tour’ if you like.Not only is the ‘Youth Tour’ weekend a form of competition but also a time for many parents to have their annual get together not only from Ireland but also from the British Isles, South Africa et al.The Youth Tour is a prestige cycling event for our children in this country as it gives them not only a competition but it also introduces children from other countries to their communities and their circle of friends. Of course, from a competition point of view it is a great marker for where they are at in comparison to their foreign compatriots. It also integrates many different nationalities and cultures so overall it is a great learning experience for the children.A relatively young club, Errigal Cycling Club in County Donegal heard of the news. Errigal Cycling Club was formed in the later stages of 2008 by a group of leisure cyclists. The club has grown extensively over the last four years with particular attention in nurturing youth development. Earlier this year the club held their annual Cycling Ireland Sprocket Rocket program with over 100 children signing on for the six week program. The club is largely rural based with members from Annagry to Dunfanaghy and Carrigart to Letterkenny.At their monthly club meeting on the 20th March 2012 one of the items on the agenda was the cancellation of the Mayo Youth Tour 2012… and from that night on the word cancellation wasn’t even heard of! There was a massive response from the club members at the meeting and the club decided that they would take on the event. In many respects it was a brave decision and it meant the club immersing themselves in unknown waters but a demanding performance challenge tends to create a team. It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.Next step was to decide on a venue for the North Western Donegal Club – with so many members from different small communities there was much anticipation and voices from many members and let’s be honest this was not an easy task! Our first meeting was a bit like the Good Friday agreement! – There were many words and it showed the passion and enthusiasm within the club! Trying to select a venue that each club member was happy with but more to the point the location that would suit the competitors and teams adequately. As the club is rural based there was one common goal and that was to base the event in a small community rather than going into an urban town where the atmosphere of the event would be most certainly diluted.Finally, after much deliberation the club decided on Churchill as the host village for 2012 Errigal International Youth Tour. Churchill is a small village located 8 miles from Donegal’s largest town Letterkenny. The village’s name is derived from its location on a small hilltop. The village boasts a post office, one grocery shop, a take away and three pubs. The local Catholic Church is located a mile away while there is a Church of Ireland located in the village itself.In early April, Cycling Ireland gave the club their seal of approval to proceed with the event and offered much valued funding plus assistance.Cycling Ulster were right on board from the off and the enthusiasm shown by Marian and Tommy Lamb was met by all. On the 14th of May in the conference Centre at Glenveagh National Park in County Donegal, the “1er Errigal International Youth Tour 2012” was launched by the Mayor of Donegal, Fine Gael Cllr – Noel McBride in front of a massive audience of approximately 200 people. There were people from all corners of Ireland at the launch including a large turnout of officials from both Cycling Ireland and Cycling Ulster. Honorary Secretary of Cycling Ireland Jack Watson attended the event that night and he also lent his expertise as he carried out a reconnaissance on the stages earlier that day. Jack said his first response was on hearing Errigal Cycling Club were taking on the event was-“They’ll never manage it. It’s a 12-month project.” But after visiting the tour routes and facilities and meeting with club members today, he said, “I have no doubt you will make it”.It was great from a club’s point of view to hear these words of encouragement as this was our first experience of running a national event.The event itself will have an impact on the county not only from a cycling perspective but also from a tourism point of view as young riders from as far away as South Africa, Le Pays Basque, Isle of Man, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland are all attending the 2012 event. Churchill has never before witnessed what it will encounter this weekend nor has the County of Donegal as it’s bringing together a multitude of different nationalities and cultures to rural areas and also a much needed injection to the local rural economy. On this note the club would like to thank the local and national media in striving to promote the event.This Thursday will see the arrival of our first competitors to the area as the Mr.Price team fly in from Durban, South Africa with most others arriving Friday evening.The headquarters for the event is in Gartan Outdoor Education Centre in Gartan 1km from Churchill village. The event is superbly located in safe environs for children.Gartan Outdoor Education Centre is set on 87 acres on the shores of Gartan Lough and really is a very special place.The last few three months have being nothing short of crazy with so many jobs and chores to be carried out. A lot of hard work has gone into the event – from meetings with the local community in Churchill to ordering safety pins for riders’ official competition numbers! The job list is endless.The club are deeply grateful to so many people who have come to County Donegal over the last few weeks to meet with them to help in the successful running of the event, – Michéal and Mary Concannon for their endless advice and also to Martin McNally of Covey wheelers for his visit to the club, Bord Fáilte and Donegal Sports Partnership for their expertise and An Garda Síochana. The event would not have been possible if we hadn’t the support of local businesses in Donegal and they have really got behind the event. It would be impossible to thank everyone but you know who you are.Finally to the people of Churchill and Gartan – the support of the local people in these areas over the last few weeks has been superb both in the village and a long the stage routes.We, at Errigal Cycling Club wish everyone a safe weekend’s cycling and we thank the competitors, parents and teams for entering the event and we would encourage everyone to come out and watch the spectacle unfold!A BRAND NEW CYCLE AS ERRIGAL INTERNATIONAL YOUTH TOUR SADDLES UP was last modified: August 2nd, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:CYCLINGERRIGAL INTERNATIONAL YOUTH TOURlast_img read more