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Sports reporter beaten by footballers

(CEMESP/IFEX) - The Secretary General of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia, Roland Mulbah, was on May 31, 2011 attacked and humiliated by three overseas-based players from Liberia's national soccer team, the Lone Star.

The players, Anthony Laffor of Super Sports United in South Africa, Francis "Grandpa" Doe of Egypt's Al-Ahly, and goalkeeper Louise Crayton of the Minnesota Thunder in the U.S., attacked Mulbah with kicks and punches after the journalist photographed them during a practice match between Liberia's national soccer team and First Division Club side Watanga FC, at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) in Monrovia.

Mulbah, who also writes for the online publication, had to be rushed to hospital by his colleagues after suffering severe pain from the punches and kicks.

According to eyewitnesses, the players' action lasted for more than 15 minutes in full view of a number of officials from the Liberia Football Association, who were said to be laughing at the display.

Laffor, Crayton and Doe claimed that Mulbah was always writing negative stories about them, which prompted the attack.

CEMESP was informed that the players were particularly annoyed by an article by Mulbah posted on, in which he questioned the motives behind the invitation to the Lone Star of Crayton, Doe and Laffor (among others), who were either without a club or were benchwarmers at their respective clubs abroad. Mulbah wrote that the national soccer team had turned into a "vengeance and a friendship club", with ex-internationals coming back as technical staff.

"We wanted to kill him. He was lucky. Let him keep writing all sorts of things about us. We will fight him. This is just the beginning," they players reportedly bragged.

Speaking to CEMESP via mobile phone on June 1, Mulbah said he was still feeling the effects from the attack by the three players. He told CEMESP that he had filed an official complaint to the Liberia Football Association and had also contacted his lawyer to look into a possible lawsuit.

"My attackers will not go free. I will take legal action against them. This is a country of law and I will ensure the law takes its course," Mulbah said.

This is not the first time national team players have assaulted a journalist.

On September 2nd, 2010, "Front Page Africa" sports editor Danesius Marteh was attacked by players Dulee Johnson, Francis "Grandpa" Doe and Dioh Williams and had his camera damaged in full view of LFA president Musa Bility and vice-presidents Musa Shannon and Adolph Lawrence. The players had appeared at the ATS, having been expelled by then coach Bertalan Bicskei for breaking camp rules by going on a drinking spree ahead of a game with Zimbabwe.

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