Monrovia — Liberia Football Association president, Mustapha Raji, urged participants of a two-day Anti-Doping workshop to serve as ambassadors of Anti-Doping in sports. Raji addressed the participants at the opening of the workshop, emphasizing that the use of drugs in sports is unacceptable and should be resisted within the Liberia football league.
The LFA boss stressed the importance of investing in the human resources of any organization as it helps in developing the organization as a whole. Raji pointed out that football development requires various factors such as referee development, administration, marketing, sports medicine, coaching development, and financial support. When these elements work together, they ensure vital success.
He proudly mentioned that in 2022, the football association conducted its first Sports Medics course, benefiting many medics. Raji stated, “I am proud that CAF has supported the training of coaches, coaches instructors, and goalkeeping coaching training is also underway.” He emphasized the need for stakeholders to be aware that the funding received from CAF and FIFA is not solely intended for clubs. It should be shared for capacity building as the development of human resources is crucial.
Raji expressed his satisfaction with the workshop, stating that it would provide players with an understanding of what substances they should or should not take knowingly or unknowingly. He compared the players’ access to drugs through sports medics to individuals going to a pharmacy to request medication when they are sick. He acknowledged the unawareness among stakeholders and the adverse impact of substances on players’ performance. Raji appreciated the initiative by CAF and thanked the Tunisian Federation for their support.
During the opening program on Tuesday, July 18, 2023, Raji also took the opportunity to acknowledge the president of CAF for their financial and programmatic support to LFA.
Sherif Sherif from Egypt and Bartegi Zakia from Tunisia facilitated the CAF two-day Anti-Doping awareness workshop for clubs, medics, and player representatives. Sherif Sherif, the CAF representative on its Anti-Doping unit, expressed their satisfaction that LFA approached them to organize the workshop, as many countries do not consider Anti-Doping an important area. He highlighted the importance of educating the people responsible in football about Anti-Doping, as players consuming the wrong substances can face lengthy bans.
Dr. Bategi Zakia, another facilitator, suggested that the training be named in honor of the late Henry Browne, Liberia Football Association technical director, who played a significant role in ensuring the success of the training before his passing. She urged participants to report any cases of doping in sports, especially in football, as it is the only way to maintain a clean sports environment.
The training, which began on July 18 and will conclude on the 19th, is aimed at enlightening 1st and 2nd Division and Women’s Upper League clubs about the dangers of doping. Participants will receive certificates upon completion of the program.