Dulee a Victim of Witch Hunt?
By Wleh Bedell
It’s a surprise that enterprising midfielder Dulee Johnson is still in the international wilderness as far as being recalled to the senior national team of Liberia the Lone star is concerned.
The 30 year old playmaker who was the youngest member of the George Weah led Lone Star during the 2002 African Nations Cup in Mali, then at the age of 17, has been out of the red, white and blue outfit for more than four years as his last outing was in a barren friendly against Angola Palancas Negras at the Samuel Kanyon Doe sports stadium on August 10, 2011 when he was introduced as a second half substitute in the fray.
In time past, the player whose style is more European than African along with the likes of Francis Doe and Dioh Williams have been labeled as “trouble makers” as some Coaches of the Lone Star axed them on the heel of some crucial duels in the name of breaking camp rules. But, with the duo of Doe and Dioh since being recalled and Dulee still outside, it seems there is a witch hunt with the diminutive midfielder still being kept out of the team.
Albeit Dulee has had a torrid career with the news of drunk driving, rape allegation and so forth, he is now reborn, a new creature and he must be judged by the now and not the before.
In 2010 when he faced court action for an alleged rape case, the former player then of Sweden elite side AIK Solna was relieved of his post of player for the club, but he was acquitted and was compensated a staggering US$ 30,000 by the Swedish Chancellor which is a clear indication that he was cleared, and since then, he has played for IK Brage of Sweden , Romanian clubs Sageata Navodari, CSMS Iași and is now at Norwegian second tier side FF Moss on a three month deal as a host of top clubs in some parts of Europe are said to be preparing for his signature by evidence of scoring seven goals from eight games.
With the olive branch of peace already extended to Francis Doe and Dioh Williams in the James Debbah era as Coach, there is a serious need for the extensively traveled playmaker, Dulee Johnson to be recalled as there is a need to forge ahead. It is quite a paradox that the Lone Star despite breaking the 14 year jinx of winning away is still faced with an orchestrator, designer or playmaker problem in the mould of Dulee Johnson who has had expeditions in Sweden, Israel, Holland, South Africa and Romania and will certainly be a worthy addition for the Lone Star in the epic 180 minute contest with the star saturated champions of Africa, the Elephants of the Ivory Coast that have never lost to Liberia as they have won against the Lone Star ten times and drawing three in thirteen outings.
The simple passing midfielder who nearly joined English clubs Leeds United and Birmingham in the past but was prevented from doing so due to heavy buy-out clause by his then club AIK Solna that were reportedly demanding a colossal US$ 5million, was also reportedly linked to German club Borussia Dortmund, and from his latest scoring ratio in Norway, it is a clear indication that the former Gothia Cup hero has added goal scoring to his game as he is among the goals in the Scandinavian nation.
Dulee has since being rehabilitated after completing a special rehab contract at IK Bruge in Sweden and the ugly past is behind the player who is eager to show more for his country after already winning 25 caps. At age 30, there is still plenty of football in the lad and there is a need for the James Debbah led technical staff to see reason in bringing the experienced player who can deliver in the creative department of the two times African Nations Cup participants. “I have since been rehabilitated. I have put the past behind me and I am in a new chapter in my career. People should not judge me from the past. I am moving on”, the player recently noted.
Certainly, there is a need to look at Dulee now as he still has more to offer for country and must stop being stereotyped. He can help the Lone Star in blending with the rest of the players in making a lasting impression. Debbah and co must listen as there is no need to take all the advises of some negative or vindictive officials who always brand some players as “trouble makers” and shouldn’t be sent for. The Lone Star must face the Elephants with their best cream of players and Dulee is indeed among the top 18 Liberian players worldwide. A hint to the wise is quite sufficient.