MONROVIA, LIBERIA (Jonathan Grisby reports)-Youth and Sports Minister, Zeogar Wilson, says the Ministry under his administration, will not compromise its national responsibility.
Minister Wilson’s clarification comes in the wake of reports that the Ministry is compromising its mandate in the ongoing National County Meet.
Speaking at a news conference Wednesday, January 22, 2020, Minister Wilson said:” At no time has the Ministry received any communication from the Chief Patron of Sports, President George Weah, to swap the fixture.”
The fixture is centered on the semi – final rounds of the National County Meet involving Grand Kru, Maryland, Nimba and Lofa Counties.
The previous fixture paired Grand Kru County against Maryland County, while Nimba County was to face Lofa County, but now Grand Kru is going against Lofa and Maryland County is expected to face Nimba County.
Following congestion of the Samuel Kanyan Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville City doing the Quarter Finals stage of the National County Sports on Monday January 20, 2020 , the Ministry of Youth and Sports has released new and stringent security measures to avoid the recurrence of the Monday’s incident which led to fainting as well as the sustaining of minor and major injuries of some fans mainly females who went to cheer their respective Counties to victory.
At a well-attended News Conference ahead of the semifinals matches on Thursday Youth and Sports Minister D. Zeogar Wilson has with immediate effect changed all gatekeepers of the Ministry with new ones to avoid any compromise.
Additionally, Minister Wilson noted that as per their new security measures, no vehicle will enter the field without a valid pass.
Moreover, he stated that VIP entry will be restricted only to people with VIP-tickets and around VIP respectively.
Minister Wilson used the occasion to urge members of the joint security team to be more vigilant and professional in the discharged of their duties during the crucial security time.
He warned non assigned security personnel not to used their identification cards or uniforms to intimidate gatekeepers only to enter the field free.
The MYS boss also called on around the field individuals from ELWA junction to use Golden Gate entry point while those from Rehab should use the Right to Play entry point in order to put in place more security control and avoid congestion.
He also clarified that the Ministry is not in the business of selling tickets rather the official sponsor of the County Meet, Orange Liberia.
According to Minister Wilson the new security measures came as a result of series of factors that led to the congestion of the stadium on Monday.
He named the allege selling of tickets by some police officers, the unauthorized jumping over the fence by some citizens which was allowed by some state security personnel, the recycling of tickets by some staff of the Ministry of Youth and Sports of which one of them has been removed of his/her post and the entire committee, the forceful and allege entry of some unassigned security personnel among others as reasons that led to the congestion of the stadium noting that it has to stop and now is the time as they have put in place some measures to make it work.
He appealed to his cabinet and other senior government officials to set the right example by entering the field properly and not by means of using influence and moreover with additional people.
The new measures intended for all sectors will also prevent journalists without access pass from on the perimeters including other unauthorized people.
According to him in order to ensure the theme of the County Meet: Sustaining the peace through sports is achieved, it is incumbent upon all Liberians to abide by the new sporting regulations to promote peace and unity for the common good of the nation and its people.
Congestion has been a traditional and old age problem in Liberia especially at major sporting venues as more technical and security measures are needed to be put in place before and during national functions to help safe guard the hard earned peace of the Country.
Meanwhile the month long festivity will continue on tomorrow, Thursday with two exciting and competitive fixtures in Kickball: Grand Bassa will face Bong while Lofa County versus Margibi
In Football; Grand Kru versus Lofa while Maryland will battle Nimba as the grand finals is expected on Sunday