Raji: ‘Time for Our Youths to Compete in Africa, Others’

first_imgMustapha Raji says he will bring changes to improve football if electedThe Liberia Football Association (LFA) went to elections in April, but the outcome was interrupted when one of the candidates filed an injunction to stop further proceedings, because his concerns filed at the LFA Protest and Appeals committees were ignored. The case will now be decided by the court. Mr. Mustapha Raji secured 16 votes shy of the 18 needed to have won hands down. In this interview, Raji, who was the favorite, explained his love for the game and while he believes that he deserves the support of stakeholders to reach his dream as president of the LFA. Excerpts:Daily Observer: Mr. Raji we know you had hoped that the elections on April 14 could have settled the leadership of the LFA. Now there is still a good chance for you to earn the title when the run-off is finally decided by the court. But my question is: why do you think that you deserve to be elected president of the LFA?Mustapha Raji: Thanks for the question. I have followed or I have been involved in Liberian football since I was twenty-five years old. I have owned clubs as far as I can remember and have sponsored young players. As president of two clubs in the league (LISCR FC and Gardnersville FC), I understand what it takes to build a team and players. I think with that experience, I can ascend to the leadership of the LFA and make a greater impact on our country.DO: Running a football club or two football clubs as your experience indicates is quite different from running a national federation, have you thought about the challenges that are associated with a national association? For example, you will need qualified individuals to staff the Secretariat of the LFA and you will not need to micromanage the LFA, that is to say, you will not have to control every part or dictate what everyone at the LFA should do.MR: I am glad you brought this question out. Remember that at a club president I have a system set up that those who I have employed work according to their job specification. There are none of my workers at both LISCR FC and Gardnersville FC that will give you any hint that I exhibit any undue control over them. My coaches will tell you how I give them the chance to do their work. I am running for the LFA leadership because I believe any technician employed there deserves the administration’s support.DO: Mr. Raji if you become successful and elected president of the LFA, what will be your immediate focus?MR: I am glad that you are identifying issues that are yet to become realities. With the present status of Liberian football, including the league and Liberia’s poor position on the continental and international scenes, I will have to meet with stakeholders, including the Executive Committee of the LFA to do some real thinking. We want Liberian youths to participate in the tournaments organized by CAF. Yes, we want our girls to be at the Female Championships on both CAF and FIFA levels and therefore we need to support it. Yes, we will have to expose our coaches to increase their technical knowledge. Yes, we’ll have to support our referees in their assignments at both and away. Yes, we’ll have to seek additional financial support from the business community. Yes, we’ll have to work out other arrangements…so you can see that we will have a whole lot on our hands to do. They will include community football, U17 football across the country, beach football and many other initiatives that we will work on both for the short and long-term. I am asking the electorates to give me the opportunity to lead and support what I have followed and spent my resources for nineteen years. This is the climax of my involvement in soccer administration and I need their support to make my dream real.DO: If you are elected president of the LFA when the court finally decide for the elections to continue will that signify that you are better than your opponents? Could you bring any of the candidates closer for Liberia’s sake?MR: These are wonderful questions and my take is I have asked the stakeholders to vote me to power. We need to work together to achieve what we want for Liberia, and I hope that has answered your question. I have known Mr. Musa Shannon and Mr. George Solo for many years. These are wonderful people and I am glad for their passion to change the future of Liberian soccer for the better. If I am successful as president of the LFA, I will bring them to my kitchen cabinet. They are great people and I appreciate them.DO: Now our final question: what promise or promises will you make to the Liberian people that could be your gift to them in your first term in office if you are elected president of the LFA?MR: If I don’t be careful with the questions you ask, I will overdo myself. And in fact, I appreciate your questions and that’s why I am always comfortable with the media since we are in it together. It is obvious that every FA’s goal is to be at the next Nations’ Cup and the next World Cup. We have a president who has an unbeatable and enviable career in football. I think he deserves either of the tournaments you mentioned. If I am elected president of the LFA, it will be our goal, all of us. In fact, thank you for bringing it up, I will engage President George Weah to take the game to the people. Together, including the media, the players, the coaches, every one of us will discuss and work toward the targets you mentioned. All I am asking for is for the stakeholders to give me the mandate as the electorates gave President Weah the mandate.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

No boos. No tracksuits. No moneyphones: Sharks’ Kane returns to Buffalo

first_imgBUFFALO, N.Y. — No boos. No tracksuits. No money phones.Evander Kane is expecting a friendly reception when he makes his return to the ice in Buffalo on Tuesday as a member of the Sharks, a 180-degree turn from the mockery he faced when he went back to Winnipeg as a member of the Sabres in 2016.“I can imagine that it will be positive,” Kane said after practice in Buffalo on Monday. “I’m sure they’ll be excited.”Get Sharks news in your inbox. Sign up now for the free Sharks Report …last_img

Glen Newcomer, Nov. 27

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It has been a very unusual growing season, but that is part of farming. We’re going to be finishing up in the next day or so. We are down to two days of harvesting and we’ll be finished for 2017. We have been waiting on this last corn because of the heavy rains we had the week before. Where we are now conditions are just fine. It has been nine days since we had rain. With favorable harvest conditions now it will be nice to coast to the finish line.Overall the corn plant health is still excellent in our area because we are working on the re-planted fields. Because of the later planting date, the stalk integrity is still there and standability is not an issue at all.Looking at the yield results, it is very important to have a good stand to achieve optimum yield. Without the population, it is very difficult for the corn plant to compensate for the blank spaces in the field.Corn has been a pleasant surprise this year. Most producers I have visited with have been pleasantly surprised with the way the corn has performed. Corn moisture is still in the mid-20s — not much drying occurs after the middle of November. The bushels are there. In some cases there is some extra moisture but having those bushels to sell this year is very important. Corn is a much better scenario this year for us than soybeans.There are just a few acres of soybeans remaining in the area and maybe 10% to 15% of the corn is still standing around here but it will be coming off very soon. It has been a challenging growing season and I am ready to put 2017 to rest and start looking forward to 2018.last_img read more

EC visiting Mumbai to review states poll preparedness

first_imgNew Delhi: The Election Commission will visit Mumbai on Tuesday and interact with various stakeholders in the upcoming Maharashtra assembly elections as part of its review of the state’s poll preparedness, sources said on Monday. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora will reach Mumbai on Tuesday evening with Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra and hold meetings with civil adminstration and police officials besides various parties’ leaders there to take stock of the state’s poll readiness. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The meetings would be spread over two days between Tuesday and Wednesday. The poll panel will be back to Delhi on Wednesday evening. The term of the 288-member Maharashtra assembly ends on November 9 and a new assembly has to be constituted before that. It was learnt that the Commission could announce assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana together in next few days. The BJP is vying to retain power in the state and is in talks with the Shiv Sena over the seat sharing arrangements, while the NCP and the Congress have decided to contest the polls together.last_img read more

Former PM Chretien on Attawapiskat People have to move sometimes

first_img(Former prime minister Jean Chretien. File/Photo)Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsFormer Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien said “sometimes” First Nation communities need to be moved because “isolation” makes it difficult “to have economic activities in some of these areas.”Chretien was in Ottawa Tuesday as a guest of Peter Harder—the point-man on the Trudeau Liberal government’s transition into power—who was officially sworn into the Senate, along with six other appointees, including Murray Sinclair, the former chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.Chretien was the Indian Affairs minister under former prime minister Pierre Trudeau who introduced the 1969 White Paper which sought to wipe out the distinct legal status of “Indian” and absorb First Nation people into the rest of Canadian society.The former prime minister was asked by reporters about what he would do with the Attawapiskat crisis.The Cree community in Ontario’s James Bay region declared a state of emergency Saturday after recording 11 suicide attempts in a 24-hour time span. Attawapiskat sits about 90 kilometres from a De Beers diamond mine.Chretien said sometimes communities aren’t viable.“The problem is sometimes you cannot. You know, it’s—you know, people have to move sometimes,” Chretien told reporters on Parliament Hill. “It’s desirable to stay if they want to stay, but it’s not always possible. So you cannot have a statement that is generic. You know it’s extremely difficult. It’s one case at a time. Some, and you know, and it’s difficult culturally for them all the time.”Chretien said he was the longest serving Indian Affairs minister in Canadian history, serving six years, two months, three days and “a few hours.”He said the biggest problem facing communities like Attawapiskat was “isolation,” but First Nation people were “nostalgic” about the past.“It’s difficult to have economic activities in some of these areas,” said Chretien. “When I quit politics in ’84, for a few years, I kept working with the Natives. I went to northern Manitoba, and you know, it’s extremely difficult to have a life there. But they traditional. They want to be close to the land. They are nostalgic about the past when they were going hunting and fishing and it takes time.”Chretien said “time” is needed to let First Nation people catch up with modernity.“You know, when I was minister, I think the first year there was about a dozen Indians who graduated from university. Now, it’s thousands and thousands,” said Chretien. “It takes time. I was in Old Crow one day. The first machine they ever seen was a helicopter; the same when they saw the man landing on the moon, about the same time.”The Indian Affairs department is now called Indigenous Affairs. The name was changed by the Trudeau government from Aboriginal Affairs.jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more