If one needs to count the number of times games are delayed, postponed or cancelled because of the match officials, one will run out of fingers.
In recent times it is glaring that the match officials are in a constant protest mode. It is not surprising to see that the Technical Director as well as the Acting Secretary General will have to change at the last minute to officiate a game cause match officials will be in their feelings.
It can also be accounted that even a junior ref was made to be a part of the team of the above mentioned office staff of the LBA in a crucial division one game.
Yesterday was no exception as at the time of the game between Barrolle and Bulls you could see the officials still sitting in street clothes.
Liberia Basketball Network learnt that they were once again protesting on the issue of not being paid for two months.
It would have been a disaster if the prexy of the LBA had not rushed to the venue to make amends. It was clear that he had to leave his house, in a rush, from his dress code, because knowing him he would not come to such an official event wearing house slippers.
“These referees need to understand,” he was overheard saying. “I was here the whole day making sure that the gym was ready for today’s game.”
The gym was closed for almost a week in order to handle some electrical issues relating to the lighting system.
“We have their check here and only await my signature.”
When quizzed by us on why wasn’t the payment made before the national holiday, he had this to say;
“We have noticed that only a few refs are constantly at games, but their payroll has about thirty names. The VPO thought it wise that from now on any ref who misses three games will not be paid for the month.”
The LBA president also took the time to also appeal to sponsors and well wishers to come to the support of the LBA in meeting demands such as this.
In the end the game went ahead which shows some compromise was done.
Should the match officials continue to hold games at ransom for inability of the LBA to meet their demands, is the million dollar question. What are your thoughts?