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Headline News from Liberia

Musa Bility and the Future of Liberian Football | Print |  E-mail
Written by Nvasekie N. Konneh   
Monday, 08 March 2010 12:16

Musa Hassan Bility
The pending election of the governing body of football in Liberia pits three candidates against each other for the presidency. They are Ms. Izetta Wesley, the incumbent president, and the two other challengers, Musa Bility, a prominent Liberian businessman and George Wah Williams, former LFA secretary general. There are also candidates running for the posts of VPs for administration and operation respectively as well as the post of the secretary general. Of the three candidates for post of the president, the two main contenders are Izetta Wesley and Musa Bility.

There is widespread view in Liberia that under Wesley, the game of football has been in decline and there is a need for new vision and idea that will bring back the glory days of football in Liberia. Many sport observers and analysts believe that only Musa Bility has the ability to bring back those glory days of football in Liberia. This was clearly evidenced in his remark when he formally declared his intention to run. At the time, he said, “I want to commercialize football in Liberia which I feel no one in the current leadership is thinking on. I have the unique capacity to do that.” As a man with proven record of success as a business man, many people believe in him more than the incumbent president under whose watch for the past six years Liberian football has seriously declined. Musa Bility’s agenda of commercializing football in Liberia when given the opportunity to serve as president of LFA is a better alternative to another four years of Wesley, whose six year reign has done very little to boost the moral for the game. What she could not do in the past six years, many believe, there is little hope she would be able to accomplish that when given another chance.

The fact that Bility has come from a humble beginning to reach to where he is today through his business acumen is a testament to the fact that when it comes to making football a commercial success, he has some ideas worth buying. It is easy to believe him than his opponent. Because, under her leadership, Liberian football has not seen much progress. She is also held accountable for the deplorable condition of ATS (Antoinette Tubman Stadium) and poor relation between the LFA and the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS). According to reports, the national team, the Lone Star, is in complete shamble, at 160th place in FIFA ranking. There is also charges that funds given to LFA by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) $250, 00.00 and $100,000.00 respectively have not been properly accounted for. All these make Izetta Wesley’s reelection bid a hard sell to Liberian football enthusiasts who are eager for change that will produce results they can be proud of. It is against this background that Musa Bility is considered a better alternative to Izetta Wesley.

There are those who argue that Ms. Wesley has the experience and Musa has none. May be those critics are blind to the recent developments in Liberian sports that can be directly or indirectly credited to Musa Bility. In a speech given when he formally declared his intention to run for the LFA presidency, here is what he said, “Those who doubted our ability to bring about change at the level of Liberian football got their answers when we led Nimba County to clinch the double titles (football and kickball championships) of the 2009/2010 National County sports meet.” Speaking further, he said, “We have brought some developments at both Watanga FC as well as the LFA Executive Committee (EC).” It is a glaring fact that Musa Bility’s involvement was very crucial in Nimba County winning the national championship in both football and kickball in 2009 and 2010 season.

If we look at the way things have been under Ms. Wesley for the past six years and what they are now, it's hard to make the argument that “she has the experience.” She does not have the record of success that will make that experience argument to hold. This makes the experience argument very ludicrous to say the least. It does not hold when the experience did not produce the tangible result for six long years. To suggest that she be reelected for another four years term because she "has the experience" sounds like saying we don't care whether she did the right or the wrong thing we just want to keep her. They are saying that when we are all passengers in the car and we are been driven by a driver who is not getting us to our destination simply because he or she does not know how, we should just keep him or her simply because he or she has been driving for some years. Such a mindset is bordered on sheer irrationality and this is very mindboggling given what is at stake at this point in time in the development of football in Liberia. Those making that irrational argument are not doing so with any level of sincerity. Can it be that they are sentimentally attached to this person and no rational argument will make them change their thinking otherwise? Experience is nothing when you don’t have the proven records of success to back it up.

Soccer and other forms of sport are big business particularly in the developed world. That’s why we hear all the time about players signing mega-million dollars contracts in Europe, America, and elsewhere in the world. It is that business concept of sport we have not seen in Liberia. It is in this light that Musa Bility’s plan to commercialize football in Liberia when given the opportunity to serve as the president of LFA is breaths of fresh air and good news that should be embraced by all football enthusiasts who want see progress at LFA. To commercialize football in Liberia requires manager with proven records of success. Of the three candidates, the one with such record is Musa Bility, the man who has built business empire in Liberia comprising of conglomerate of media entities the Renaissance Communication Inc. and petroleum importing company, SRIMEX Inc.

Given this success story of Musa Bility as a business man and the abysmal failure of Izetta Wesley for the past six years, the choice of the stakeholders on March 20, 2010 should be clear. With her, we cannot expect anything more than the same old same old. With Musa at the helm of the football governing body of Liberia, we can expect something new. He has the vision, the proven records, and the ability to take LFA to a higher height. In this light, we must hope that the stakeholders will not allow mere sentiment when making their decision on March 20, 2010. They must be practical and rational with the best for Liberian football in mind. The clock can only tick forward, not backward. While Izetta represents the past of LFA, Musa Bility certainly represents the future of the organization.

Most young people throughout Liberia can be inspired by Musa’s story because he comes from the same background like many of them.

About the author: Nvasekie N. Konneh is a Liberian poet and write and veteran of the US Navy. He’s the author of the book of poetry, “Going to War for America.” Since 1992 up to present, Nvasekie Konneh has written extensively in newspapers in Liberia and the US. His articles and poems have appeared in many newspapers and websites. Nvasekie Konneh currently resides in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, where he has completed a memoir, The Land of My Father’s Birth, chronicling his experience of growing up in Liberia, his refugee life in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in the early 90s and his nine years of service in the US Navy. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .