By Paul Nicholson
December 14 – Rochell Woodson, the suspended Liberian FA (LFA) executive committee member who plans to run against Musa Bility for the Liberian FA presidency, has filed a complaint to the LFA exco that her appeal against her sanction will not be heard in time for her to take place in the presidential election. She has also filed a separate complaint to the African confederation (CAF) against Bility complaining of constant harassment and intimidation.
Woodson, who says her suspension was “masterminded” by Bility to keep her out of the election, has written to the head of the appeals committee Joseph M Kollie objecting to outside interference on the committee’s process by close Bility ally Ansu Dulleh, also an LFA executive committee member.
Dulleh is reported as telling radio station Fabric FM that the ruling on her appeal would not come until after the 15 February 2018 deadline for the election. That date has already been moved forward from March.
This is not the first time candidates standing against Bility have been banned from running against him for the presidency by the LFA. The same happened in 2014 when the only candidate contesting Bility’s presidency was banned by the Executive Committee. Woodson says this was done at “Bility’s behest and manipulation”.
Bility was banned by FIFA’s ethics body for not being a suitable candidate to run in the 2016 election for FIFA president that elected Gianni Infantino. He has since become a strong Infantino supporter and has boasted of his close relationship with the FIFA president.
Woodson’s appeal against her own suspension – based on two counts of her being a whistleblower on LFA corruption and a complaint by Sierra Leone president Isha Johansen (which has previously been dismissed) – is centred on the claims that the she did not co-operate with investigators on the corruption cases she reported are fabricated. She also points to the statutes saying that the process used to suspend her was unconstitutional.
Bility in the firing line
If the spotlight now on the multiple accusations of corruption within the LFA was not enough, Bility now faces a formal complaint against him at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) where he is also an executive committee member.
In a letter to CAF Woodson complains of “his constant harrassments against my person, abuse of power, violations of the LFA satutues, Intimidation and witch-hunt against me from 2011 untill present.
“Over the years Mr. Bility has manipulated the LFA Executive Committee to illegally expel me in 2011. While being expelled, I was appointed on FIFA women’s Football Committee of which, he fought very hard with the then FIFA President, Stepp Blatter, to remove me from the committee but he didn’t succeed.”
Woodson continues: “Bility continues to abuse his power, use his resources against me wrongfully which can no longer be tolerated. He is a football Executive and his harrassment and behaviour against me should not be tolerated by CAF and FIFA. He has verbally intimidated me of his close relationship with the President of CAF and FIFA that I can’t do anything to him, these are his words to me, “this is not your government where Blatter was supporting you”. But I am not deterred but will continue to work in the confines of the law.
“In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is enshrined that women should be free of harrassment and intimadation in workplaces and I am sure football associations are not exempt from said declaration. My rights as a female official of Football has been continuously violated and abused by Musa Bility, while CAF and FIFA seem reluctant do or act because I am not a close friend or associate to the Presidents of CAF and FIFA.”
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