Monrovia — The Liberia Football Referees Association (LFRA) has lost one of its members, Lackey Massaquoi.
The Liberian referee on March 30, 2019, died at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex during a fitness test for referees, organized by LFRA.
The young match official ran seven rounds during the fitness test but could not continue and fall to the ground minutes after admitting that he was unable to complete the fitness test.
LFRA Chief Referee Lamin Kamara told FrontPageAfrica that Lackey was taken to the ELWA hospital unfortunately, he was pronounced dead upon arrival.
According to the referee association, Massaquoi was a dedicated class "D" member of the Liberia Football Referee Association and is saddened by his passing.
Mr. Kamara disclosed that Massaquoi attended two different fitness courses, including a FIFA- sponsored course which he passed but it was surprising for him to fail the fitness test at SKD.
"Massaquoi's death is a big blow to the Referee Association because he was a promising referee who had passion for the game. He will be missed by all of us."
"Today is a sad day for us; but these things happen all around the world: for an athlete to die during a match or training," Lamin added.
The Chief Referee hopes upcoming referees will not be afraid of joining the association because of the death of one of their members as it is a usual thing for athlete to die on the pitch and referees are no exception.
According to him, there are over 70 beginner referees of the Liberia Referee Association, who are determined to succeed at the top with limited senior match officials in the country.
When asked if there was a medical test on the referees before the fitness test, Lamin did not answer.
A statement from the Liberia Football Association said "LFA regrets to announce the death of referee Lackey Massaquoi of Margibi County.
The late Lackey was a senior student of the University of Liberia. He was studying Mathematics as major and Economics as minor. He leaves to mourn two kids --a boy and a girl.
Lackey is the third football personality to die in the last two months. Former LFA executive member and former LPRC Sports Association president and founder of Female club Tito FC Geraldine Doe Sherriff and former LFA Vice president for operations Adolph Lawrence were the first two football icons.
It can be recalled that the Football house conducted medical for players of the local national team and two players Alvin Marconnel and Seku Sheriff failing the medical but there was no medical for the referees, who were undergoing the fitness test something many Liberians feel was responsible for the death of Lackey.FrontPageAfrica has learned that even at the test there was no medical personal at the SKD to give out first aid to referees in the case of emergency.