Ellen Abandons Sports In State Of The Nation’s Address
By Roland Mulbah
In her State of Nation’s Address yesterday, the President of the Republic of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said nothing about sports in the joint chambers of the Liberian Legislature.
Even though the National team of Liberia, Lone Star, under the tutelage of former international player, James Salinsa Debbah broke 14 years away winning record after defeating Guinea Bissau late 2015, the President refused to make mention of such great performance during her regime that such historic record was broken.
It can be recalled that Monrovia was almost shut down as the national team of Liberia returned from Bissau in a triumphant entry from the Roberts International Airport to Central Monrovia.
President Sirleaf also ordered that the team make a stop at her office where she later expressed the Liberian government’s joy over the team’s success and later gave envelops to the entire team and Coach James Salinsa Debbah.
The President also refused to make mention of the just ended National County Sports Meet where Grand Bassa defeated Montserrado County to clinch the 2015 edition of Liberia’s biggest sporting event.
The Gnezohn outfit won the overall trophy with US$1,000.00 as cash prize after clinching silvers in football (3-1 in penalty kicks after regular time ended 1-1) and basketball (57-54 against Grand Kru in extra time after regular time ended 45-46- ) as well as bronze in kickball after defeating Margibi County 4-0 home runs.
The National County Sports Meet, has always brought Liberians and other partners together and the event has served as a unifier which the President refused to make mention of.
To worsen matters, the President did not even attend a single match of the just ended National County Sports Meet, lest for the Head of State to speak about the event in yesterday’s State of the Nation’s Address.
“The 2014 edition of the National County Sports was not held due to the deadly Ebola virus, so it would have been more expedient for the President to have at least spoken about the 2015 edition which ended peacefully,” Elijah Myers of Montserrado County noted shortly after the President’s address.
“Vice President Joseph Boakai attended Lofa’s match against Gbarpolu in the quarterfinal and the Veep also attended the grand final, but it is not clear if he went there to represent the President,” a keen follower of Liberian sports noted.
The President also refused to acknowledge the frantic effort exerted by the Ministry of Youth and Sports with other stakeholders to have made the entire sporting events a real success. She also refused to make mention of Liberia’s U-18 basketball team as champions of West Africa after the youthful Liberian team won silver medal in the Zone III West Africa basketball championship after defeating one of Africa’s giants, Ivory Coast in the final, with Nigeria going down to the Liberian side in the semifinal.
More to come in our subsequent Reports