By Michael Nasri Solomon
Referee Josephus Torjilar’s 2-year ban Lifted under Ten months by the Liberia Football Association; said action meets mix reactions from pundits and some Journalists.
The Liberia Football Association have lifted a two_year ban imposed on a senior Liberian referee Josephus Torjilar just under 10 months at the 24th ordinary congress held on 12 June 2020 – Josephus was reportedly nearing a FIFA badge status in 2019.
According to credible reports, Torjilar was tipped to replace current Secretary General Isaac Montgomery as FIFA badge referee. Montgomery retired as referee following his appointment to head the secretariat of the Liberia Football Association.
In a release dated: August 12, 2019, Referee Torjilar was banned for two years for reportedly accepting bribe following an investigation conducted by the Football Association grievance and disciplinary committee headed by its Compliance Officer Morris Nahndi Barsi Giah.
During the investigation on 30 July, 2019, the Football Association reported Torjilar admitted he received US$100 after a second division relegation play-off match involving Pags and Srimex Football Clubs of the second league.
“The committee found Referee Torjilar’s admitting a violation of chapter 13, section 2 point 3 of the rules governing the 2019 Orange-sponsored LFA National League,” LFA
Chapter 13 section 2 point 3 of the rules of the Orange-sponsored national league states “any referee(s) or match official(s) accused of taking bribe shall be investigated by the disciplinary committee and if found guilty, such match official shall be banned for two years.”
Referee Torjilar was reportedly guilty of having violated chapter 13, section 2 point 6, which states, “Match officials are not allowed to accept gifts of any kind from members of clubs, etc. (cash or kind) before, during and after a match. Match official(s) caught will be immediately suspended.”
The fixture was played at the famous Antoinette Tubman Stadium in Monrovia on 21st July and Pags managed a 2-nil win.
Meanwhile, Torjilar reportedly refuse to disclose the name of the club, which allegedly gave him the bribe money after he was asked by the investigation committee.
Unfortunately, both Pags and Srimex slipped through relegation during the 2019 league season.
To date not much has been heard of the believed investigation linking the two clubs to the bribery that led to the ban of senior referee Josephus Torjilar.
Moreover, since the verdict to lift the BAN on referee Josephus Torjilar pundits believe the Football Association did not set the right precedent especially with no substantive reason on why the ban was lifted.
There has been also been looming concerns on why the Football Association is in such a hurry to lift a 2 year ban just under 10 months – a nullified league season among others.
Pundits including sports Journalists believe Josephus Torjilar must be made to serve his 2-year BAN.
In August 2019 when the ban was imposed, pundits believed it was a shenanigan to ruin his quest of becoming a FIFA badge referee to replace now SG Isaac Montgomery.
Notably, it is alleged Isaac Montgomery had threatened Josephus Torjilar he won’t be a FIFA badge referee while he’s the Association Secretary general.
According to reports: The two had some alleged disagreements that led to a heated argument where a lot was said by the Liberia football Association secretary general who’s a FIFA Badge emeritus to a senior referee in Torjilar.
Now, pundits are beginning to question the FA’s Grievance and Disciplinary Committee headed by Integrity and Compliance Officer Morris Nahndi Barsi Giah on how the matter was adjudicated back in August 2019.
According to a few, there are more questions than answers about the corrupt official ban.
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