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Items filtered by date: December 2015
Thursday, 21 September 2017 13:17

Weah: An Epitome of Greatness

 

By Wleh Bedell


The name George Weah is a household word not just in Liberia, but Africa and the rest of the world. From sheer obscruity to stardom, the greatest footballer the African continent has ever produced by evidence of conquering the football world to win the Ballond D'or (Golden Ball) and the FIFA world footballer of the year awards in 1995, Weah captivated many and remains an iconic figure in the world over. He is someone destined for greatness not just in football but in life. With stints in Cameroun at Tonerre Klara Club after his cameo on the local scene with Invincible Eleven (IE) , the legendary Weah was a terror on the football frontline with the likes of AS Monaco, Paris Saint Germain, AC Milan, Chelsea, Manchester City and Olympique Marseille before moving to Al-Jazeera for two years in preparation to say goodbye to the beautiful game on June 11, 2005 at the Stade Velodrom in Marseille where he netted a hattrick in his testimonial or retirement match between his friends and a World Allstars.

While the prodigiously talented player will always be remembered for his success as a footballer, he certainly proved that he is a philatrophist who used his money generated from the pitch where he mesmerized defenders, woo the crowd by scoring jaw-dropping goals, to help his people and was the "Lone Star" during his country's 14 years of fatricidal civil crisis which killed more than 250,000 people.
Weah was the image of his country as international media outlets spoke volumes of not just his footballing prowess but his desire to help his people in refugee camps and the many at home where he helped a lot in settling a plethora of problems. The towering frontman provided scholarships, catered to his people greatly and was the face of his motherland during the period of carnage. He also served as sponsor of the country's senior national team, the Lone Star, organizing camping sites in neighboring Ivory Coast, providing jerseys and other equipments, paying the country's football debt owed the Confederation of African Football (CAF), leading the way to get chartered flights for the team to honor matches, and the generosity is endless with only the most subjective and unrealistic of persons will be so shameless to disappointingly downplay the tremendously colossal efforts of a true son of his motherland. Thus, when the Lone Star qualified for their first African Nations cup in 1996 in South Africa, everyone marveled and were amazed of the story as Weah was at the apex in making the much needed sacrafices for his people and country.

During the disarmament process in Liberia, it was Weah as a Unicef goodwill ambassador who was asked to help talk to soldiers to disarm as he went to the troubled Guthrie Rubber plantation urging those trigger happy Liberians to lay down their arms, a plea they heeded to as their masters who orchestrated the civil holocaust washed from far and near. Weah recently said during one of his campaign thrills, "while they were destroying, i was restoring". This is something many, not only footballers continue to emulate as they see the Great Weah as a model and have since gained inspiration from him as they are known for following in his footsteps. The likes of Samuel Eto' Fils, Didier Drogba, Emmanuel Sheyi Adebayor, Mohammed Kallon and many others have since followed the patriot Weah to give back to their various countries.

Weah remains a bastion of hope and his contribution to the peace process in his motherland served as a catalyst in ending the crisis in bringing lasting peace to the country.
Indeed, the enviable contribution of Weah to peace in Liberia is unmatched from an individual perspective as he had to make adjustment in his work and schedule to show love and take the risk to talk to combatants to lay down their arms in bringing lasting peace to Africa's oldest republic, Liberia. He was also actively speaking from his base for regional and world leaders to act quickly in bringing an end to the war in his homeland, a momumental contribution that led to him winning the Arthur Ashe Courage Award on July 14, 2003. Such award is presented to individuals whose contribution transcends sports. The question remains where were the so-called intellectuals, over night patriots and philantrophist?

Despite the misguided criticism the iconic Weah is awash with, he remains unperturbed and is a kin-pin in the country's politics, something that cannot in anyway just be described as a football star transitioning to politics. Since 2005 when inarguably the most popular Liberian entered into politics, Weah has become an instant hit with his Congress now Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) party, the name Weah continues to resonate and since becoming third time blessed in winning the senatorial seat of Montserrado county after losing in the run-off in 2005 in the presidential race, and six years later losing out to the ruling establishment where he was then running mate to International Diplomat, Winston Tubman, reportedly under controversial circumstances as the CDC boycotted the run-off on grounds of some electoral irregularities, the Devry University product has shown that he has not come to say hello, but has come to stay, to be a top notched politician who is keen to get state power as president through the ballot box.

Indeed, Weah has since made the doubters to eat their words who were rubbishing him as "an unserious politician" in 2005 who could not cope with the rigour of being a politician and would have soon given up, but 12 years and counting, Weah remains a magnetic politician drawing thousands to him, a lethal force, the pick in the pack, the opposition linchpin as he has consistently led the biggest opposition political party to the disbelief of those who were rating him off, and as one political pundit once said "underrate Weah and you will be doing so at your peril" . Ambassador Weah is obviously seen as someone ever focused, resolute, committed and resilient in leading the campaign for a new dawn, a new Liberia where the national cake will be evenly distributed with people once more able to improve their livelihood. Inarguably regarded as one of Africa's greatest sons, not just for his footballing prowess but also his philantrophism and heart to serve his country where he remained one of the bigwigs in the peace process during the dark days of the country's mayhem, Weah once noted to thousands of his partisans that he had done a lot for his countrymen in terms of providing for them, but cannot not do all, and believe one can do a lot for the people while in government as huge resources will be used to cater to them with issues ranging from employment, education, health, agriculture, etc. highlighted. Senator Weah has always being someone who shows love and care for his people and has always being sensitive to their plight. His generous nature has made him popular with his people and has never being that hurriedly made generous-one who is only known during the election process and soon goes in oblivion after the results are announced waiting for another six years to return.

Others have opted to malign Weah as if it is a crime to enter into politics as a means of emancipating his people. But, there is more to the anti Weah sentiments among some who erroneously believe it is their God given right to be at the helm of power in an underdeveloped nation despite lacking behind a huge chunk of the continent as they use the term continuity as a means of wooing voters. Whether there should be continuity in the midst of untold hardship and suffering, massive unemployment, rampant corruption, messy educational system, appaling health sector, tatter economy, incomplete restoration of basic social services and many others is what remains to be seen as the legendary Weah is leading the charge for change which from all indication is imminent. Vice president Joseph Boakai's statement that they squandered a lot of opportunities which could have been utilized, is just a pellucid example of why change is salient more than ever before in Liberia's governance structure. Also, his demeaning and racist statement urging electorates not to vote for a footballer among so many other reasons makes it the right time to honorably retire VP Boakai who bizzarely describes himself as a racing car packed in a garage for 12 years. And as the CDC standard bearer recently said to a multitude of people during a campaign tour, "the future we are talking about for our country, Joe Boakai is not part of that future. " I am saying it here and will say it anywhere. "After 42 years in government what can he ( Joe Boakai) show?" In an interview with FIFA TV, Weah indicated "iam proud to be a footballer. "I brought the message of peace while others brought war". The senator believes that this is the time for new breed of leaders. "I was raised in the ghetto, people styreotype people. "I met and learned from a lot of great leaders including Nelson Mandela", Weah intoned.

The thick-skin patriot, Senator Weah, is unwavering in his quest for state power as the vision to make Liberia great under the mantra "Hope for Change", has since being embraced by so many who are yearning for change in this tiny West African nation. The criticism can continue, but Weah is never bewildered, never dejected, never freightened, never daunted, never pessimistic, as he set his eyes on the ultimate, the top seat in the land, the presidency with the need for change at the doorsteps waiting to come in after October 10, 2017, where there is an aura of optimism of a one round victory for the CDC of George Manneh Weah.

Each time Weah is written off, he is able to stun the form book to deliver. During his heydays as a footballer, Weah was often underated, but against all odds, he was able to surmount the task. When leaving IE for Tonerre Klara Club, he was faced with the mammoth task of helping make the club greater and in a laconic period, Weah conquered Cameroun. At AS Monaco, the towering frontman after making his Ligue 1 debut on August 17, 1988 against AJ Auxerre, never looked back coupled with his champions league debut on October 4, 1988 where he scored in the 37th minute in his side 2-0 win against Valour Reyjavik of Iceland to cancel a 1-0 first leg loss and virtuoso showing with PSG especially in the '94/'95 season where he emerged as top scorer in the UEFA champions league with seven goals, made him a star on the look out for as he shut the mouths of the skeptists. Then at AC Milan he was faced with another weighty task with his Ligue1 rival at Olympique Marseille, Jean Pierre Papin,who had joined Bayern Munich of Germany after a disappointing spell at Serie A club Juventus, became the first to write off Weah, doubting his ability to succeed in Italy judging from the rugged nature of the then world best league. But Weah's response to the French forward via the Gazetta Dello Sport newspaper was simply, "Papin is Papin and Weah is Weah", with the Milan dangerman going on to be the world best footballer. On the international level when they said he was finished, it was Weah at 35 years, 108 days old who rose the highest on January 19, 2002 to score the opening goal at the 2002 African Cup of Nations against host Mali to be the oldest player to score in the African football fiesta.

They can continue to doubt Weah, but he will keep believing and enduring. They can continue berating, lambasting, underating and editing his speeches to make mockery on socio media, but Weah will never give up and will never allow melancholy to take over him as such acts by the opponents will always serve as an impetus to him. Indeed, Weah epitomizes greatness. He will keep pushing and pressing forward, keep knocking, keep asking questions, keep searching and competing as he is poised to succeed Nobel Laureate, madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, as the next president of the Republic of Liberia and they will be left with no alternative but to tell the story.

 
Published in LFA League

 

 
 

Liberian international striker William Jebor over the weekend came off the bench to end his goal drought after heading in a late equalizer to recuse his new club Al Nassr against Al Ahli at the Jeddah stadium.

Since scoring his last goal on May 12 for his former club Wydad Casablanca against Cotonsport in the CAF Champions League, the 25-year-old has for the past months struggled to register his name on the score sheet.

The Liberian striker got his first goal for his new club in the Saudi Arabian Pro League after netting a stunning header in the 84th minute to secure a draw for the two-time Saudi Arabian Pro League winners.

After conceding an earlier goal in the 8th minute, Al Nassr tried to get an equalizer, but was held up by the lone goal up to the 80th minute. Jebor was introduced at the right time after sending in teammate Mohammad Al Sahlawi’s cross from the left flank through a diving header.

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, rejoice, and be exceeding glad” (Photo Credit: Al Nassr)

After enjoying a remarkable season with Moroccan club Wydad Casablanca during the 2016-17 league season where he won the Botola Pro league, and scored the league’s highest goal at the end of the season with 19 goals, the 25-year-old Liberian striker’s performance caught the attention of some European clubs including English Premier League side Stock City and French League clubs Rennes and Metz, but the former Wydad Casablanca top goal scorer finally made his decision to join the Saudi Arabian club on July 9, 2017 after signing a three-year deal.

With a huge task on his shoulder to perform for his new club after an incredible season in the Moroccan league, Jebor began his season with his new club on a disappointing note after making four appearances without a goal.

The weekend goal brought back relief for the goal puncher and his fans as he got back on his goal scoring path. Jebor in a thankful mode took to his official social media pages including Facebook and Twitter thanking God.

“To God be the glory, Amen. It is written: Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. It is written again: Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, rejoice, and be exceeding glad,” Jebor posted on his social media pages.

The draw for Al Nassr put them in the 5th position on the league table after collecting five points from its first three matches.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017 15:03

Debbah Apologizes to Marteh

 

 

By LFA Press

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2017: The Head Coach of the National Team, the Lone Star has apologized to the sports journalist Danesius Marteh after a recent assault on the journalist.

Coach James Salinsa Debbah on August 26, 2017 reportedly attacked Marteh after an UNMIL Radio interview.

The journalist after the situation wrote an official complaint against the coach to the leadership of the Liberia Football Association.

The LFA leadership set up a special five member Hearing Committee to probe into the matter and come out with findings.

The LFA Special Hearing Committee on September 4, 2017 had a hearing into the matter with both Debbah and Marteh explaining their sides of the incidence during hours of deliberation.

A release from the LFA said after hours of discussion, Coach James Debbah regretted the situation and apologized to journalist Marteh.

The report from the committee was submitted to the LFA Executive who subsequently endorsed the decision at a meeting held on Monday, September 18, 2017.

The Committee was chaired by Bishop John Allen Klayee and included Executive Member Ansu Dulleh and LFA Technical Director Henry Browne.

 

 

Published in LFA League
Monday, 18 September 2017 14:19

Mighty Barrolle Relegated

 

 
 

Five weeks after the climax of the 2016/2017 LFA 1st Division League season, another drama has occurred in the league after Mighty Barrolle was relegated due to a complaint filed by LPRC Oilers against FC Fassel.

LPRC Oilers on July 20, 2017 filed a complaint against Fassel for fielding an ineligible player in two matches. According to the complaint, the Soccer Missionaries fielded center defender Alvin McConnell who received a straight red card against Nimba United on April 23, 2017 at the North Star Stadium and should have missed the next three games, but only missed a single. According to league rules, a player receiving a straight red card should miss the next three matches.

According to the complaint filed by LPRC, McConnell only missed FC Fassel’s match against LISCR on May 14, but was fielded in the team’s next two games against Mighty Barrolle and Barrack Young Controllers on June 11 and June 19 respectively.

The ruling of the complaint, which was delayed for more than a month, was finally released on September 9 after an investigation by the LFA disciplinary committee.

Following the ruling, LPRC Oilers moved a step above their previous position to the 9th place in the league with 25, thus helping the team escape relegation, which brought smiles back on the faces of the Oil Boys as that restored the team’s stay in the top flight league. But, it was a frustrating moment for Liberia’s traditional club Mighty Barrolle after the Rollers were relegated to the second division league.

Barrolle will now join their traditional rivals, Invincible Eleven and ELWA United, that were earlier relegated to the second division after finishing 11th and 12th places respectively.

This was the second drama in the LFA 1st division after the first one witnessed Soccer Missionaries losing 12 points as league leaders after a complaint was filed by rivals LISCR FC.

 

LFA 2017  Final Table 

Published in LFA League
Tuesday, 12 September 2017 15:38

Fifa Broadens Referees’ Knowledge

 

 

By Augustus Audekina-Doe

A week-long Fifa 2017 Ma-Elite Referees Course has officially been launched in the Country.

The five days course was launched Monday by the Minister of Youth and Sports Charles Saah N’Tow at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville City.

At least 30 Liberian football referees are undergoing the Fifa elite training course organized by the Liberia Football Association (LFA).

The referee course which began Monday, September 11, 2017 is expected to run until September 15, 2017.

Fifa Instructor, Felix Tangawarima said the intent of the training course is to abreast Liberian referees about the changes in the Laws of the game and to sharpen their skills to weather the unfolding trends of events that attend the game.

“This is a regular training course that is being organized by the Fifa member associations every year and Liberia is of no exception.” He stated.

He said for the next few days during the training course participants will do practical demonstration in order to know exactly how the Laws of the Game are implemented.

The Fifa instructor believes that the training course will enhance the referees to adequately implement the Laws of the Game.

He also cautioned referees to teach players, coaches and clubs administration on the new amended Laws of the Game and how they are implemented.

At the same time, Minister Saah N’Tow assured Government’s commitment in facilitating and to continue the training course for Liberia Football Referees.

He believes that referees are those who are lifting the standard of the game.

Meanwhile, two out of thirty football Referees have failed in the FIFA MA Elite fitness test administered Monday at the Samuel Kenyan Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville City.

Mathew Solong and Johnson Gbartea were the two that failed in the eighth and nine laps respectively.

Published in LFA League

 

 
 Monrovia - Liberia again failed to make it to the group stage of the inaugural edition of the West African Football Union 16 Nations Cup tournament sponsored by Fox Sports in Cape Cost, Ghana.

by Christopher C. Walker -christopher.walker@frontpageafricaonline.com

The local based national football team of Liberia was beaten by their counterparts from Senegal 5-4 on penalties shootout after full 90 minutes of play ended goalless on Saturday, September 9, 2017 at the Cape Coast sports stadium in southern Ghana.

The Taranga Lions started match with lot of pressure on Lone Star’s defense but missed the first real opportunity of the match in the 2nd minute after Assane Mbodji decent pass put Amadou Dia Ndiaye through but his effort went off the side net.

Though the Lone Star started the match on a very slow pace, they got in the game later and controlled the first half but did not knock on the Taranga Lions door much by an attack force headed by Mark Paye and Christopher Jackson.

The LISCR pair did little to pressure the young Senegalese back four after Marcus Macaulay and John Jaysay combined well in midfield with Van-Dave Harmon and Terrance Tisdell supplying from the wings.

In the 17th minute Liberia came within inches of taking the lead when Marcus Macauley met a cross from Tisdell with a strong header, but his effort came off the crossbar and the follow-up attempt was pushed over the post by Mark Paye who header was not good enough to get the match opener.

The Lions were awarded their first corner-kick in the 36th minute but the young Lone Star shot stopper Abdulai Koulibaly managed to get the ball off his box with a little tip.

Both teams did not create any real chance during the first half as the ball was played in the middle of the pitch and there were poor decision in front of goal from both teams ending the first half goalless .

Senegal, though, did end the more confident of the two sides with a 22-yard shot from Assane Mbodj going inches wide in the 43rd minute.

Liberia’s Terrence Tisdell drove into the Lions’ box from the left flank in the 46th minute but his shot from about twelve yard hit the side net to the disbelief of Liberians back home who were viewing the game on television.

Marcus Macauley long range effort in the 58th minute went off Senegal post by inch.

Senegal’s first real chance of the second half came in the 64th minute after a well-struck 24-yard free-kick from Jean Remi Bocande, but his effort was brilliantly saved by lone Star’s keeper Koulibaly.

James Debbah was force to make his first substitution of the match in the 69th minute after right back Nuwo Johnson injured his right knee in the 66th minute the Fassell FC defender was replaced by Monrovia Club Breweries’ central back Prince Blade who did well in helping the pair of Alvin Maccornel and Kemoh Kamara with lots of air balls in defending.

Mark Paye who was not real noticed on the pitch had to make way for skillful David Tweh in the 79th minute as the creative midfielder one two one in midfield brought little life to the Lone Star that were seen very tired during the second half.

Fallah Sheriff came on for Van-Dave Harmon who ran the longest distance on the pitch but Fallah might be disappointed in his introduction as he was involved in a crucial penalty missed for Liberia that send the Musa Bility boys picking their bags out the tournament.

The LISCR winger who inclusion into the team was the major discussion among Liberians when the final 18 men squad of Debbah was reveal by the LFA step up at the Six penalty of Liberia but his ball went outside and the well-organized Senegalese side scored their six penalty to send them to the group stage of the tournament.

Both sides did not create any significant chances in front of goal as the match ended goalless and went into penalty shoot-out which Senegal won 5-4.

Christopher Jackson and Fallah Sherrif missed Liberia’s second and last penalty while Marcus Macauley, Terrance Tisdell, Alvin Maccornel and Abdulai Koulibaly scored from the spot.

Speaking to FPA prior to the team’s departure James Debbah said his team was not adequately prepared for the tournament because of the three weeks of training.

According to Debbah he recommended to the LFA to camp the team in Liberia before their departure but the old age problem of “No Money” was the order of the day from the football house.

“We have been training for the last three weeks; I don’t think we are adequately prepared,” Debbah said.

“It is a problem for the technical staff when the players are not in camp, they go home and we do not monitor their activities.”

For his part Lone Star Deputy coach Thomas Kojo told FrontPage Africa from Ghana that he sees prospect in the team that played against Senegal but said it will only come to reality if the government invest in the young players.

Kojo Said “ if we had prepare adequately the performance of our team was going to be better.”

Senegal coach: Moustapha Seck

Senegal: 16. P. Ndiaye, 12. Barry, 9. Dieme, 3. Kane, 4. Kante, 6. Oumar, 8. Bara, 22. Mbodj (10. Marone 82’), 13. Bocande, 17. Badiane (11. D. Dieme 69’), 18. A. Ndiaye.

Liberia coach: James Debbah

Liberia: 1. Abdulai Koulibaly, 11. Aloysius Simujla, 5. Alvin Maccornel, 8. Kemoh Kamara, 17. Nuwo Johnson (3. Prince Balde 69’), 7. Terrance Tisdell, 19. John Jaysay, 2. Marcus Macauley, 20. Van-Dave Harmon (10. Fallah Sheriff 87’), 4. Christopher Jackson, 15. Mark Paye (22. David Tweh 79’).
 
Published in Lonestar News
Monday, 11 September 2017 15:43

2 Coaches for 60-day Training in Canada

 

By Leroy M. Sonpon, III - September 11, 20171216

 

Head Coach Samuel Cooper

 

 

-Depart for Visas on Tuesday

 

 

 

The head coach of the Liberia Athletics Federation (LAF) Samuel Cooper and former Secretary General D. Winston Cole have been accepted to enroll in a two-month training in Applied Sports Sciences in Montreal, Canada offered by the International Support Program to African and Caribbean Sports (PAISAC).

The training is scheduled from October 2 – December 2. 

Coach Cooper will be doing Classical Training, while Cole will do Advanced Training.

In an exclusive interview with Coach Cooper on Saturday, September 9, he said they will depart the country for Accra, Ghana on Tuesday, September 11 to acquire their Canadian Visas before proceeding to Montreal.

“I am happy and optimistic that upon the completion of the training and our return, we will train others to help improve and develop the sports across the country,” Coach Cooper said.

The training is in the framework of the Olympic Scholarship Program for coaches by the Olympic Solidarity of the International Olympic Committee and falls under the International Support Program to the African and Caribbean Sport (Paisac) – a Canadian sports program based on international cooperation, aiming at sustainable development through sport.

Paisac’s mission is to take part in sports development in the African and Caribbean countries, members of the Commonwealth and the Francophonie, by means of training in order to contribute to the revitalization of the role and function of the technical sports administrators in these countries.

Mr. Frederick Krah, the Secretary General of the LAF, told the Daily Observer yesterday via mobile phone that the training of the two coaches is to help the country to promote the game among the youths in the country.

Krah said their training will be shared upon their return to recruiting more coaches for the clubs, communities, and schools for the athletics to be a popular sport.

 
Published in LFA League

 

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2017: A 25 member Liberian Football delegation has arrived in Accra, Ghana ahead of the inaugural edition of the West African Football Union (WAFU) Nations Cup.

The delegation headed by LFA Technical Director left Monrovia Thursday afternoon and arrived in Ghana late Thursday evening.

The Lone Star was received on arrival in Accra by the Secretary General of WAFU Jammel EK Borjan.

The team is spending the night in Accra and will drive to Cape Coast on Friday ahead of their game with Senegal on Sunday.

18 home based players including Marcus McCauley have been selected by the James Debbah led Technical Staff to represent the Lone Star nation.

Abdulai Koulibaly and Tommy Gbayeh Songo's are the goalkeepers called to duty in the FOX Sports sponsored event  

Defenders lined up for the WAFU Nations Cup for Liberia are Aloysius Snosie Simujla, Nuwo Alexander Johnson, Alvin Maccornel, Kemoh Sidiki Kamara and Prince Balde

Ebenezer Solo, David Teklo Tweh, John Chea Jaysay, James Walatee, Amadiah Kawah and Marcus Macauley are the midfielders that will face off in the competition.

 Liberia’s striking force includes Fallah Sheriff, Van Dave Harmon, Christopher Jackson, Mark Paye and Terrence Leonard Tisdell.

Members of the Lone Star Technical Staff in Ghana are:

James Salinsa Debbah (Head Coach),
Thomas Sebwe Kojo (Deputy Coach)
Eric Glasco (Goalkeeper Trainer)
Sebastian Collins (Administrative Manager)
Boakai Kamara Messeur
Tommy Johnson (kit man)

Published in Lonestar News

 

 

Five years after Liberians last saw one of their own play in the UEFA Champions League, Sylvanus Nimely may get to play in the 2017-18 competition as part of Spartak Moscow’s squad.

The 19-year-old forward only joined the Russian Premier League champions during the middle of last season where he made a significant impact on the junior team, playing in the Russian first division league.

After a successful time with Spartak Moscow II, Nimely was included on Spartak’s first team for their preseason camp in Poland. He made use of the opportunity by impressing the technical staff and was included in the squad for the 2017-18 Russian Premier league.

Since his inclusion, he’s yet to make his Russian Premier League debut with eight games already played. He’s mostly featured in the junior team that plays in the Russian first division.

Despite not having the opportunity to debut on Spartak’s first team, his work with the junior team continued to impress his coaching staffs as he was also included in the 29-man squad for the UEFA Champions League.

Spartak released its final squad for the European competition on Monday, September 4 with Nimely being named on the list of forwards that includes former Shaktar Doneskt and AC Milan striker, Luis Adriano of Brazil.

With Nimely yet to make a single appearance in the ongoing Russian Premier League, his chances at a Champions League appearance are slim, but he’s confident of breaking through. In an interview with The Bush Chicken, Nimely said he was grateful for the opportunity and is ready to work to make his dream come true.

“I’m grateful to God for the opportunity to be part of the Spartak Moscow’s squad,” he said. “It is truly an honor, and I’m happy for it. It’s a huge challenge for me and I’m looking forward to it.”

Spartak is paired in Group E with Spanish La Liga heavyweight, Sevilla FC; Slovenian club, Marribor; and English Premier League giant, Liverpool FC.

The world biggest club competition will begin on Tuesday, September 12 when top clubs from around Europe will begin to battle each other for the club supremacy of Europe.

The competition, which will be contested by champion clubs and other top clubs in Europe, will bring together players from the different parts of the world playing for their respective clubs.

Since the era of the famous George Weah Eleven where Liberians frequently watched their countrymen play in the Champions League, the tournament did not see a Liberian until Sekou Jabateh Oliseh made an appearance.

Liberians watched Oliseh play in the competition on Russian club CSKA Moscow’s roster for the 2009-10 and 2011-12 football seasons. However, Oliseh was soon out of CSKA Moscow’s first team by spending most of his time on loan.

Since then, the competition has been playing without a Liberian participating, although the likes of Theo Weeks and William Jebor had participated in Europe’s second club competition, the Europa League, but Liberians had always been eager to see their compatriots at the top level.

Featured photo courtesy of Spartak Moscow

 

Monrovia – Liberia national football team head Coach James Debbah says Musa Shannon’s recent statement calling on him to step down as Head Coach of the national team simply because he demanded his seven months’ salary arrears is reckless and he must apologize.

 

Report by Christopher C. Walker -Christopher.walker@frontpageafricaonline.com

 

Debbah had gone to provide information about the national team coaches’ salary arrears owed by the Government of Liberia and the Liberia Football Association on Fabric Radio weekend sports program on August 26, 2017 but the football house vice president for administration, Musa Shannon, got furious about the Debbah’s going public to express he and his colleagues’ frustrations.

 

 Shannon who is the acting president of the LFA called in during the program to react to some of the comments made by Debbah, but recommended Debbah’s resignation his post as head coach of the Lone Star if he was disenchanted over the delay in payment of his salary.

 

“If you feel you have not been paid by your employer for seven months and you are qualified, it’s better you resign or better stay without complaining,” Shannon said.

 

Shannon’s statement resulted into a fist fight between Debbah and UNMIL sports reporter Danesius Marteh at the closing stage of the program when Marteh said he support the LFA VPA statement, something Debbah took offense to.

 

Speaking to FrontPageAfrica on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 Debbah said the comment from Shannon who he played with on the national team is reckless and must not be taken serious.

 

“That statement was immature on the part of the vice president for administration of the Liberia Football Association,” Debbah said to FPA while responding to Shannon’s statement.

 

“Musa’s statement in my point of view is reckless, because Musa Shannon just came to  the fray, where was he when I  James Debbah, Kelvin Sebwe, George Weah, Thomas Kojo, Joe Nagbe  and Dionysius Sebwe were in Liberia  helping to develop  this institution by playing  in the local league?”

 

According to Debbah who was considered during his playing days  the nation’s must celebrated soccer star,  the LFA official has not been involved with football prior to his appointment so he does not know what it means to run football.

 

“Shannon needs to apologize to the technical staff for his reckless statement. How can you say such a thing to people who have given their life for the improvement of our national team?” Debbah asked.

 

The former Liberian striker now coach of the national team said even though Shannon is his boss, he needs to come out openly to ask for forgiveness from individuals   he once played with.

 

“I  tell you I am really  surprised about what  he said but I cannot blame him  because he’s not aware of what  has been going on; when we were here fighting for Liberian football, he was in the United State of America with his family,” Coach Debbah added.

 

Debbah was quick to mention that at no time he and Shannon got into conflict playing for the national team or presently as his boss so he do not know why he will decide to issue words that are not healthy for the growth of football.

 

“ I played a few games with Shannon, but he was not my teammate, my teammate are Joe Nagbe, George Weah, Kelvin Sebwe, Dionysius Sebwe and Thomas Kojo who play with me on the national team for decades,” Debbah asserted.

Published in Lonestar News
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