By Christopher Walker, Mamos Tv, Liberia
LIBERIA – Staff of the Liberia Football Association (LFA) have complained that they have not been paid their monthly salaries for a period of four months. The LFA has not paid its over 50 employees since they last received their January and February 2017 salaries at the beginning of March, but they have continued to work for the months of March, April, May, and June without the Football House giving any reason for the delay.
Salary arrears have been one of the persistent problems at the LFA since Musa Hassan Bility became President on March 20, 2010, as he is yet to pay his employees at the LFA straight three months without delay.
According to one of the employees of the LFA who asked for anonymity for fear of losing his job, the situation is affecting them as some of his workmates have been issued notice by their landlords because they are unable to pay their house rent due to the LFA failure to pay their salaries.
“This is causing serious problem for us and we are not been told by senior staff why the delay in us receiving our monthly benefit. If nothing is done I think some of us will take this issue to the Court because we are tired with this, we have families to take care of but we cannot due to our salary delay,” he said.
“Every time they will delay our salary for three, four, five months after we complained they will only pay two or three months to us, this is their usual habit why will they always treat us like this? To get transportation to come to work is difficult but we try our best to come to work every day so what should we do so they can know we are working?” the angry LFA employee said.
According to him, it is the second time in 2017 the LFA owed them as they were again in a similar situation at the start of the year before been paid two months.
It can be recalled in 2016 employees of the LFA were again owed for the month of April, May, June, and July but were later paid three months salaries.
The Football House Treasurer Jallah Corvah at that time told a local radio station Fabric 101.1 FM that it was because of the FAP from FIFA the employees’ salaries were delayed, but the FA is yet to give reasons for the workers’ salaries delay this time around.
The LFA receivesUS$500,000 as Financial Assistance from FIFA annually and also gets subsidies from the government of Liberia.
The FAP from the governing body of football (FIFA) to the LFA is used for administrative costs, including salaries and the LFA monthly wages is little over US$14, 960 and after taxes is around US$14,370 something one may question the LFA for not paying its employees on time.
There are reporters that the football house was awaiting its FAP from FIFA to settle their arrears with the Employees, and got the money last week but has still not paid its employees because the LFA has a problem with the United Bank of Africa (UBA).
UBA Bank has, therefore, refuse to release the FAP to the football house because its President Musa Bility is indebted to the bank and promise to pay his debt when FIFA send the FA Financial Assistance.
Bility who is the current mobilization Chairperson of the opposition Liberty Party is believed to have used part of the US$500,000 he credited from the bank to purchased cars and Motorbikes for the party.
Our source has, meanwhile, said UBA Bank has resolved not to disburse a cent to the Football Association until the LFA President can repay their money he credited from the bank for his personnel use.
With the bank’s decision not to give out money to the LFA, it’s not yet clear if the over 50 LFA employees will receive their four months salaries as Bility is currently not focusing on Football due to his involvement with active politics.
Because of the FA President political engagement with Liberty Party, he on May 17, 2017, named his deputy Musa Shannon to run the day-to-day affairs of the LFA.
The LP mobilization Chairperson cited his engagement at CAF Executive Committee as reasons for giving out extra powers to Shannon but he has always been seen with the Liberty Party than attending CAF meeting.
All effort to contact Horatio Willie Communication Consultant of the Liberia Football Association did not materialize as he failed to answer his phone calls to confirm or refute the allegations.