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LFA Suspends Match Officials

-Following Nimba VS Margibi Match

The Liberia Football Association (LFA) has suspended the match officials, who handled the Margibi versus Nimba second quarter-final match in the ongoing National County Sports Meet (NCSM).

A Press Release from the LFA signed by the Public Relations Officer Danesius Marteh, approved by the Minister of Youth and Sports Zeogar Wilson disclosed that Alex Nagbo will serve a two-month ban from all match-commission duties.

FIFA-badged George Rogers, who was the center referee, and fourth official (reserve referee) Kofa Doe have been banned for a month at national level.

Assistant referee number one Johnson Gbartea, also a FIFA-badged, and assistant referee number two Cunningham Miller have been suspended for two weeks at the national level.

Their sanctions followed a formal complaint lodged by Nimba following their defeat to Margibi on Saturday from “kicks from the spot” otherwise known as post-match penalties.

Nimba had complained to the organizers about “the failure of the match officials to implement Article 7.2 and Article 7.3 of the rules governing the 2018/2019 NCSM”.

Article 7.2 states “that the quarter and semi-final matches shall be played in accordance with the cup system by direct elimination of the loser”.

Article 7.3 states “that if after the 90 minutes of a football match ends in a draw, extra time of two times fifteen (2X15) minutes shall be played. If no goal is scored during the period of extra time, penalty kicks shall be taken to determine a winner”.

The match officials should have unconditionally implemented the rules governing the tournament.

According to LFA secretary-general Isaac Montgomery, their bans take immediate effect.

This brings to six the number of match officials, who have been penalized after a review of their performances.

Center referee J. Francis Smith was recalled from the group stage in Nimba and suspended having unjustly awarded a goal to Gbarpolu against Montserrado on December 16, 2018.

Smith ignored the decision of Kayee Gray, who was assistant referee #1, and awarded what was a clear offside goal to Gbarpolu.

According to match commissioner’s report, Smith unjustifiably overruled Gray for a clear offside before the third minute of the match.

Smith’s error caused the match to end 2-1 in favor of Gbarpolu.

Meanwhile, the LFA has been informed by the sports ministry that it has suspended, with immediate effect, Bryant McGill, chairman of the technical committee and director of programs for a month without pay.

The protest committee, which recommended his suspension, gathered that Bryant misled the center referee and match officials into direct penalty kicks instead of extra 30 minutes in keeping with the rules.

Sports Minister Zeogar Wilson has honored the suspension of Bryant from all related activities but he will be allowed to watch the remainder of the tournament as a free citizen.

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