Liberian FA and sports minister get lines crossed in cellphone turf war
By Mark Baber
January 7 - The Liberian Football Association (LFA)and the country's sports minister are at loggerheads after the minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe entered into a sponsorship arrangement with LoneStar Cell/MTN the rival to Cellcom GSM, the LFA's partner and apparently holder of sole rights to sponsorship of football-related activities at LFA stadiums.
According to FrontPageAfricaOnline the LFA has been upset by the move by Nagbe which has led to the placing of several banners, billboards and logos of LoneStar GSM at strategic locations in and out of the Antoinette Tubman Stadium in apparent breach of an agreement reached between Cellcom GSM and the LFA under which all sponsorship rights were relinquished to Cellcom for a period of five years up until 30th June 2020.
Cellcom and LoineStar Cell have previously been at odds over the placing of sponsorship, with employees of the two companies clashing at a sports complex in September 2012 before police were called to restore order.
With most of the parties to this dispute not available for comment to FrontPageAfricaOnline on their various mobiles, it remains unclear whether the dispute will escalate, or if the agreement between the Sports Minister and Lonestar does not actually infringe on Cellcom's rights and will quickly blow over.
Football has returned to Liberia after the country was first officially declared Ebola-free in May 2015, although isolated cases have re-emerged since.
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