Raji Discovers Financial Fraud At Liberia Football Association Under Bility

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 Monrovia – The president of the Liberia Football Association (LFA), Mr. Mustapha Raji, has revealed that his administration is faced with settling debts of his predecessor, Musa Bility.

Report by Christopher C. Walker, christopher[email protected]

Raji, who took over from Bility in September 2018, said getting funds from the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) for Liberia is difficult because of the past administration’s bad financial report.

Addressing the media Saturday, January 18 for the first time since his ascendancy as LFA boss, he disclosed that he is working along with FIFA to take Liberia off restriction.

“We took over the LFA under restriction from FIFA. The LFA has been under restriction before we took over but we are working to see how we can get over it due to the past administration,” Raji said.

He told the media that in the last five months, they have made great achievements in convincing FIFA to lift the restriction. He added, however, that it is a process.

FIFA restricted funding to the LFA and   said it could takeover of the FA’s finances after audit shows that Liberia football officials have mismanaged football development money intended for the country.

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Independent auditors commissioned sent to Liberia by FIFA issued an adverse opinion after an audit of the LFA and in concluding review clearly that spending of development funding within Liberia Football Association (LFA) shows irregularities, which need further action.

During their meeting on 8 March 2018, the FIFA Audit and Compliance Committee decided to suspend funding to the Liberia Football Association until further notice. According to them, their decision was based on the findings of the review performed by Control Risks into the usage of development funds.

“In light of the decision, Liberia Football Association will not receive funding until there has been an evaluation of the remedial actions. AII expenditures of FIFA funds already received can only be spent by written consent of the FIFA administration.”

In a June 25, 2018 letter, FIFA again reinforced its position. “In light of adverse results identified in the final report received from the independent auditors, the ACC has decided that the release of development funding to your member association is to be restricted.”

Raji added: “From the report of the Internal and External audit, it shows the following, yes indeed the LFA was involved in tax fraud. We have communicated with the Liberia Revenue Authority to see how best to meet up with the withholding that was not declared by the past administration.” 

According to the LFA boss since he took over from Bility, employees of the football house are now paying their taxes something the past administration failed to do in eight years.

According to him, there was also no social security benefit s for LFA workers, which was reflected in the financial report that the employees had it but explained that all of those working for the LFA are covered by Social Security now.

The issue of the referees being owed for months at the LFA by Bility, Raji said they have settled it fully. The amount was said to be in the range of US$20,000.

It can be recalled that under Bility, referees threatened not to officiate games due to the LFA owing them. Raji said it will not be business as usual and had to arrange payment plans to settle the decision makers of the game before the kickoff of the national league.

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“During the period, we have cleared all of the salaries owed the employees of the LFA that was not pay by the last leadership,” Raji added. 

Over US$30,000 was owed employees, according to reports from the in the LFA.

“The LFA is also indebted to a number of coaches, including Roberto Landi, James Debbah, Thomas Kojo. 

“We are trying to make payment and the Government of Liberia has committed to address the balance payment because they were hired on request of the Ministry of Youth and Sports,” he said.

Landi, the Italian, was appointed in 2011 and was sack in 2012 by the LFA. He complained Liberia and FIFA ruled that he be paid his benefit something the LFA has not yet done.

When contacted Former LFA president Musa Bility said he is not in the business of words of words with Raji.

According to him, he had left the LFA with a hundred percent clean record.

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