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Hailing The Lone Star


By Roland Mulbah

The senior national team of Liberia, Lone Star on September 5, 2015 thrashed the Carthage Eagle of Tunisia 1-0 at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium in Monrovia in the second match of the Gabon 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

The dreadlocked goal machine, Francis ‘Grandpa’ Forkey Doe, who was a constant threat to the opponents, rattled the net in the 79th minute to give Liberia the crucial win and put the red, white and blue outfit in contention for the Gabon 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

The young national team that played with spirit,commitment and sheer determination must be hailed as the team brought joy to Liberians and the country’s partners in progress.

Liberia’s zone which includes Tunisia, Togo and Djibouti for Gabon 2017 Africa Cup of Nations is now open where Togo has six points and Tunisia and Liberia with three points each, while Djibouti is the point donor in the zone with no points.

The players, technical and support staff must be hailed for bringing joy to Liberians by beating Tunisia which is a top rated football nation in Africa.

I also urge Coach James Salinsa Debbah to maintain the current squad and scout for few talents to make the team a formidable one that can compete for silver wear as far as football is concerned.

I also hail the players for the crucial win against Tunisia as it will lift Liberia’s ranking on the FIFA monthly ranking because Tunisia is a top rated country in football.

The victory should be dedicated to goalkeeper Nathaniel Sherman, who was involved in an accident and therefore, missed Tunisia’s game.

I also hail Cellcom GSM, for providing sponsorship for the national team of Liberia and leading the way in Liberian Football. The company’s sponsorship is a laudable venture.

Also, I commend the public for its support to the team despite the heavy down pour of rain who turned out in mass and cheered the team to a crucial 1-0 win against a power house in African football, Tunisia.

Again, we say Bravo, bravo, bravo to the national team for beating Tunisia.

Debbeh and Kelvin MUST get Nagbe



By Staff Reporter


The missing link on the Liberian Sr National Football Team is a playmaker that can get the ball to the strikers in the final 3rd.

The game against Tunisia proved that Liberia’s defense and strike force is up to the task.
What was missing was a playmaker.

The Famous Weah 11 had Kelvin Sebwe in the middle of the park. The midfield maestro as he was called could spray the ball all over the park. His occasional goals also helped that team to achieve what no other Generation achieved.

Darlington Nagbe style of play is just like his idol. He even wears his number and has the same first ball touch.

At the international level, the most important part of a player’s arsenal is his technical ability. Most importantly, his first touch.

Nagbe’s deceptiveness, work rate, vision and skill all factor into his recipe for danger. His awe-inspiring foot-works reminds me of the great Messi -- rarely do they lose the ball off the dribble. Many, including myself, believe that Nagbe has plenty to bring to the table for Liberia

Nagbe’s ability to control the ball with his first touch and quickly make decisions is top notch. He can receive a pass in a tight area and escape before the opposing players knows what happened. In that aspect he will truly help to build the bridge between the midfield and the strikers.

Darlington will add a dynamic presence to the midfield, one that can dribble past multiple players and get into great positions to make the final pass.

There will be no need for an introduction as he grew up with the technical staff and his father is the trainer.

Debbeh and Kelvin have to make the sales pitch to him and his mother, convince them that Liberia is best for his international and professional career.

He will be a US citizen this Month and does not have to worry about papers to play in the MLS.

Playing for Liberia will open up more possibilities for him in Europe as he is truly a player for the Big stage.

Kelvin, call your god son "TonTon" and Debbeh call your son "Tonton" as he respect the both of you greatly.

Klinsmann will be keen to feature him in October, when the US plays against Mexico, but if that does not happen the window will be open for Liberia.

If the US wanted him he would have been fast tracked for his US citizenship. He should not end up like Collins John who played less than 10 min for Holland and close the book on his international career.





Six Qualities Lone Star Need

By Wleh Bedell

With the Lone Star faithful in ecstasy after the spirited solitary goal victory against the visiting Carthage Eagles of Tunisia on September 5, at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium in a match week two Gabon 2017 African Nations Cup Qualifier, the Lone Star who are aiming for their third African Cup finals will need mostly six qualities to compete with the likes of Tunisia, Togo and Djibouti for the automatic ticket or at least one of two runner up spot . After the spirited 1-0 win against the Tunisians which was mostly due to sheer commitment, spirit and grit , the red, white and blue outfit must take into account the following.

Clean Sheet-- The Lone Star were able to keep a clean sheet against their North African opponents, a feat that must continue as the qualifiers rage on. The real test will mostly be away and with the team being poor travellers, they will need to raise their game in keeping clean sheets in the next 180 minute away fixtures to Djibouti and Tunisia if they are to be genuine contenders. Closing down opponents quickly, prodigious defending with everyone behind the ball when on the back foot and taking into account the compact nature, must among other things be highlighted.

Building From the Back--In the win against the Tunisians, the Lone Star virtually neglected build up play as there were mostly route one style football or over the top balls with the defenders making predictable long passes to the front runners. It is clear that in contemporary football, a team will be more useful, menacing or organized in building from the back where they could among other things draw the opponents and then link up teammates. While the long ball cannot be overall ignored, to continuously engage in it makes a team to be literally impatient and game easily read by the opposition.

Adventurous Full Backs--No disrespect to the diminutive Solomon Grimes and the lithe Gizzie Dorbor who operated at full back positions during the Tunisia melee, they however were not adventurous in that fray. In today's game, the use of adventurous fullbacks are a plus to a team when on the front foot as they will provide width, cleverly measured deliveries for teammates to pounce on. Thus, the Lone Star must also engage in wing play with the full backs scampering down the flanks.

Genuine Playmaker-Also in the Lone Star third win against Tunisia, it was evident that the team lacked an orchestrator or genuine playmaker who could provide the defense splitting pass, the final ball, penetration for the strikers to get the ultimate. An influential playmaker is greatly needed as the duo of Francis Doe and William Jebor lacked quality service in the contest at the ATS.

Profligacy---With the general feeling that the group could be a trident team race involving Togo, Tunisia and Liberia as each team yearn to win the home matches and then get maximum points against early point donors Djibouti, the Lone Star will have to transcend their literally poor scoring form and start to win comprehensively or with wider margins as goal difference could count if all three teams show consistency to the end. The Lone Star have been mostly a one goal margin -win- team and with Tunisia hitting eight pass Djibouti in the opening round, the senior national team of Liberia must sharpen its striking propensity in banging the goals.

Strength In Depth--Every good team needs a good or strong bench, something the Lone Star must be keen of. The substitutes must be as good or almost good as the starters, and there is a serious need to encourage more competition to enable the best come out of every player. Thus, more players of quality need to be invited.

County Meet Sets For Dec. 2

-15 Counties, 75 Teams

By: Leroy M. Sonpon, III

The outbreak of the Ebola virus in 2014 did not only claim lives and affected the country’s economy but also cancelled one of the most significant national sporting events that brings oneness, peace and love among Liberians.

It transcends tribe, ideology and county boundaries and it unite the people.

The main organizer of the 2015/2016 County Meet, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, in collaboration with co-organizer, the Ministry of Internal Affairs will use the games to celebrate the victory over the end of Ebola transmission.

The head of the forthcoming games Secretariat J. Bryant McGill said the Ministry would officially disclose the ‘County Meet package’ on Monday, September 14.

Bryant said the package would include the official date of the County Meet, - which will simultaneously kick off on Wednesday, December 2, in four venues: Grand Bassa, Grand Gedeh, Margibi and Nimba counties.

He said the preliminaries of the football and kickball editions would be played from Wednesday – Saturday, December 2- 12 and the remaining three disciplines would be played in Monrovia, from Tuesday – Saturday, December 22 to January 2, 2016.

Basketball and volleyball would be held at the Sports Commission on Broad Street, while athletics would take place at Fendell.

“The Big 8 teams for the football and kickball finals will be played at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium, from Sunday – Sunday, January 3 – 10, 2016,” Bryant said. “The finals of the volleyball, basketball and athletics will also be held on the same date.”

Bryant said the final assessment of the venues which would include an engagement meeting with the County’s Local Authority and the County Sports Coordinator would lead to the disbursement of preparation funds.

Some of the assessment could also include Counties’ readiness as hosts, sporting facilities, hotel accommodation and responsibility of host counties, among others.

With the approved allocation of US$500,000, Bryant said the first portion of the disbursement could run from the 15th of October through November but did not disclose how much.

About US$21,000 was given to counties in the last County Meet.

Bryant also disclosed that the Appeal Committee, which is headed by Minister Eugene Nagbe has two new members, Andy Quarmie and Mustapha Raji.

The Heats Begin

With few more months to the County Sports Meet, there is already heat around the country, where one could again have a sense of belonging besides the national football team.

It has always been that effect on every team on the field during the County Sports Meet, where spectators behave and think that the team represents them – their family and county.

The County Meet, launched in 1956, is held annually in the spirit of unification.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s inaugural County Meet witnessed Rivercess County lifting the football trophy at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex in 2007.

Rivercess failed to defend the title, and bowed to Bong County 4-3, the following year.

In 2009, Bomi won the title and defeated River Gee, 5-2. Nimba County came into the limelight and whipped Grand Gedeh County, 2-0, the following year. She defended the title over Margibi in 2011.

In 2012, Margibi leveled the scores and whipped Nimba 2-0. In 2013, Grand Cape Mount County whipped Montserrado County 3-1 in a lottery shot, after 1-1 of 120 minutes of play.

Prior to the outbreak of the Ebola, Grand Bassa County whipped Nimba County, 2-1.

MYS Inaugurates Guidelines For Sports Federations

By: Leroy M. Sonpon, III

The Ministry of Youth and Sports has developed “rules and guidelines” to monitor and control subsidy receiving federations and associations, which has already been validated and printed into “mini handbills.”

Since the creation of the Ministry of Youth and Sports in 1972 and then amended in 1981, this is the first time such guidelines for Liberian sports to be launched to enable the Ministry establish measurable indicators to track activities and deliverables of the 29 federations and associations in consonance with work plans, by-laws and their constitutions.

The 6-page document, under the title: “Guideline for Federations & Associations” was validated on 14 August 2015.

The Guideline seeks to achieve seven objectives, which include: importance, functions, characteristics, conflict of interest, financial and administrative accountability and amendment.

According to the Guideline, a copy of which is with the Daily Observer, the Ministry is responsible to regulate, promote, certificate, provide subsidy and supervise all of their activities.

The Ministry has also accepted to develop the political will to construct, manage and maintain all government sporting facilities; provide opportunities for training, support to all national teams because all national teams are sole properties of the Liberian government.

Article III of the Guideline from Section 3.0 to 3.17 emphasizes the responsibility of the associations and federations.

Some of the mandates of the national sports bodies, include the development and submission at the beginning of each fiscal year, short, medium and long-range programs and work plans; conduct annual competition or league and provide annual financial and situation reports, including external funding from international parent bodies.

The federations and associations are expected to “acquire office space and maintain bank accounts (Liberian and US dollars) with recognized banking institutions; must have article of incorporation and constitution in line with their international bodies and must submit the full listing of elected officers, email addresses and telephone numbers.”

It added that the federations and associations must have elections in line with their constitutions; the Ministry of Youth and Sports must be notified of all international matches/events at least two months, except otherwise to be determined.”

The Guideline also said no employee of the Ministry shall be allowed to serve in an elected position or appointed to the administration of any federation/association and no federation should sign any agreement/contract on behalf of the national teams of Liberia without seeking prior approval of the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

“No member of the leadership of one federation/association should occupy leadership position in another federation/association simultaneously,” the document further, said.

“Commitment to host international competitions must be in consultation with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and federations/associations activities must not conflict with academic activities,” the document said.

Those affected are federations and associations that manage golf, kickball, amputee football, taekwondo, weight lifting, athletics, karate, judo, boxing, volleyball, cricket, lawn tennis, handball, the national team, football, swimming, cycling, wrestling, basketball, netball, chess, wushu, canoeing and rowing.

Others include high school athletics, school football, Olympic Committee, women sports, inter-high school sports and university games.

Youth and Sports Minister Eugene Lenn Nagbe in a message in the Guideline thanked Deputy Sports Minister Henry B. Yonton, Jr. and his team for the enormous energies put into producing the rules and urged associations and federations to take ownership of the document and follow all of its contents, accordingly as a means of guiding their performances and attitudes.

“We are convinced that these Guidelines are comprehensive and crucial linkages between most of its articles and sub-sections and the Ministry’s overall sports development plan,” Minister Nagbe said.

For his part, Deputy Minister Yonton hailed Assistance Minister for Sports, Murvee Gray and the technical committee that developed the Guidelines, led by ORD Kareem Nyanneh and J. Bryant McGill.

“It is my hope that it will serve as a cut of point for the long running distractions regarding constitutional bridge and other administrative excesses allegedly carried out by heads and members of federations and associations,” Minister Yonton pointed out.

Yonton added: “Another importance of this guideline is that it defines acceptable behaviors to be demonstrated by federations and associations and equally, set high level of practice.”

Goalie Sherman Flies To India

By: Leroy M. Sonpon, III

Liberia’s number one goalie, Nathaniel Sherman left to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire yesterday (Tuesday) for visa to seek treatment in India.

CAF and FIFA Match Commissioner, G. Andy Quarmie escorted the injured goalie.

The Chairman of the Lone Star Mobilization Committee, Rep. Edwin M. Snowe, made the disclosure yesterday during a Radio morning show.

The Montserrado County District # 6 Representative said the medical trip is intended to save “goalie Sherman.”

LFA president Musa Bility also said the abroad medical treatment is underwritten in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

On Wednesday – two days to Liberia verses Tunisia encounter, goalie Sherman, was involved in an accident.

According to sources while he was communicating on his mobile phone, Sherman slammed into a transparent glass at the Stone Haven Hotel where the national team was camping, and sustained serious facial injury.

He was rushed to the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital and later released but was recommended to seek advance treatment.

Sherman, 24, started his career in 2008, with UMC Roots, Nimba United and now with is with BYC I, and has been the goalkeeper for the national team since 2011.

Patrick Wleh and Zah Krangar gearing up for 2015 Malaysia Cup

By T. Kla Wesley Jr.
September 8, 2015

The 2015 Malaysia cup is expected to kick off September 11, 2015 and football fans will be watching two Liberian internationals who will be hoping they earn a silver wear to climax the 2015 Malaysia football season.

Midfield maestro Zah Krangar of Super League side Felda United was drawn in the Group C, which is known as the group of death. Felda United will have to battle out giants Selangor FA , Kelantan and T-Team if they are to progress to the quatar finals of the competition. The tiny midfielder will lead Felda United when they will host T-Team in their opening match on Saturday, September 12, 2015.

Elsewhere, towering striker Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh will lead the attack force of PKNS FC who were drawn in Group D with Pahang, PRDM, and Pulau Pinang. PKNS missed out the chance of qualifying to the Malaysia super league after finishing fourth (4th) in the just ended Malaysia Primer League and are desperately hoping they clinch the Malaysia cup to put smile on the faces of their fans once again. PKNS will play their opening match of the competition on Saturday, September 12, 2015 when they will travel away to Pulau Pinang.

Golden boot winner Francis Forkey Doe will have no part to play in the competition after his Primier league club NS Matrix were booted out in the play offs.

Man of the match Sam Johnson showered with praises
sam johnson
sam johnson


Former Nimba FC attacker, Sam Johnson, put up a master-class performance against the Tunisians despite being placed in the heart of midfield as compare to playing his preferred central forward role.

Lone Star Head Coach, James Salinsa Debbah, bathed the 22 year old Djurgaden’s centre forward with praises after the player performed beyond expectation, leading to Liberia’s vital 1-0 clipping of Tunisia at the ATS on Saturday in Monrovia.

The Swedish-based striker was placed in deep midfield role alongside Patrick Gerhardt and he pulled the cords in midfield, covering more distances than any of his mates and Debbah has described him as a “workaholic”.

Johnson won several sliding tackles and dispossessed opponents of the ball.

“Sam Johnson is a workaholic. He is mobile. We decided to use him in the midfield because of these qualities. None of his peers could move like he did, Francis Doe could not and even William Jebor cannot work like him and we hope more will come out of Sam,”  the Liberian national team coach declared of the player.
"He has great qualities. He fights for the ball and wins it back each time he loses it,” Debbah, 48, said in a post-match press conference.

Liberia is leveled on points with Tunisia, but moved second place in Group “A”, thanks to their head to head record.

Liberia will travel to fellow group contenders, Djibouti who are yet to secure single point in two matches in March 2016.



By Varflay Kamara, Gbarnga Bong County


Tunisia head coach Poland Henryk Kasperczak has swallowed the bitter pails from his team defeat against the Lonestar of Liberia and declared the win for the Red, White and Blue outfit as a deserving one.

At a post match press conference, coach Kasperczak was emphatic that Lonestar dominated proceedings and deserved all three points.

The game between Liberia and Tunisia in Monrovia was in continuation of a qualifying campaign to reach the finals of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.

He congratulated the Lonestar of Liberia and made it cleared that Group A which comprised of Togo, Tunisia, Liberia and the group's underdogs Djibouti is mainly competitive between Togo, Tunisia and Liberia.

The Tunisia coach was quick to point out that the Antoinette Tubman Stadium which many football pundits may consider not up to standard, is for both teams and there was nothing to shift blame on the look of the playing pitch.

The Lonestar took total control of the game from start to finish.

First half ended 0-0 with the Lonestar admired by its fans for defensive midfielder Patrick Gerhardt and striker William Jebor's shots on target.

It was in the 79th minute just on the brink of the full ninety minute when the deadlock goal puncher Francis Grandpa Forkey Doe headed into the net via a volley from Debbah's man of the match Sam Johnson that ended the goal draught in the match.

In another result in the group, Togo won their second straight 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier when triumphing 2-0 in Djibouti but did so without star striker Emmanuel Adebayor.

Unwanted by Tottenham Hotspur, the 31-year-old failed to respond to a call-up following a row over the captaincy ahead of Togo's win over Liberia in June.

New captain Serge Akakpo wasted little time in making an impact, scoring after three minutes, before Jonathan Ayite doubled the lead before half-time.

Togo lead Group A with six points.

Tunisia beat Djibouti 8-1 during the opening round of 2017 Nations Cup qualifiers in June.

This is how it looks like in Group A
Group A

Pos Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Togo 2 2 0 0 4 1 3 6
2 Tunisia 2 1 0 1 8 2 6 3
3 Liberia 2 1 0 1 2 2 0 3
4 Djibouti 2 0 0 2 1 10 -9 0

Jabateh's future not in doubt -Debbah

(L-R) Sekou Jabateh, Trokon Zeon, Murphy Dolley,Herrion Berrian
(L-R) Sekou Jabateh, Trokon Zeon, Murphy Dolley,Herrion Berrian


Head coach James Debbah said the midfielder remains an integral part of his plan and clarified that the decision not to use Sekou Jabateh against Tunisia on Saturday was tactical.

The former CSKA Moscow right winger was one of the unused substitutes in Liberia 1-nil win over Tunisia at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) in Central Monrovia at the weekend.

In a post-match interview, Coach Debbah confirmed   that the decision to use local-based Oscar Murphy Dolley ahead of the man once forecast as the next “ Liberian soccer king” was in the interest of the team and  was not in any way  intended to humiliate the player.

Jabateh was made to go jogging, just for Debbah to select the promising Dolley ahead of him for tiring Zah Krangar to the dismay of his many supporters.

“Sekou remains an important player in my plan. We could not use him based on tactical reason. That does not mean, he’s out, he is a very good player, but for this match we could not just use him. Sekou understood the change, it was in the interest of the team, Debbah added.

  Jabateh is still in search of contract after his expected move to Qatar caved in lately.

The 25-year old was said to have joined Qatari Club Al Gharafa, but the Club Secretary General Jassim Al Mansouri confirmed later that negotiations with the midfielder did not materialize.

The Liberian in search of contract reportedly signed up as a Syrian professional player upon arrival in Doha, the Qatari Capital to complete the deal.

The player has been in search of new club since he was uploaded by one of the World’s best football Clubs, CSKA Moscow in June of this year.

There were reports in the media recently that Jabateh was in route to Turkey to pen a lucrative deal.

He was also thought to have caught the attention of an unmanned Spanish LIGA Club.


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