From all indications the Nigerians are the favorites but Liberia may give them a run for their money and they may find it not as easy as many may think hence the need to work together now to make sure that victory comes our way.
A win for the Lone Star at the expense of the two time African champions in the two- leg contest, which takes place on the weekend of September 7-9 and the weekend of October 12-14 at home and away, respectively will be considered a major upset for the former Green Eagles who are desperate, like Lone Star to make amends after their disappointment of missing out of the last edition co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
Facing Nigeria is by no means an easy task as even the neutrals will admit that going against a passionate football country like Nigeria entails a lot if one is to succeed against them.
However, Liberian is also a passionate soccer nation and we can hold ourselves against any nation once better preparation and incentives are provided for the players.
Thus, the need to put in everything possible to oust them.
Judging from the enormity of the task and the benefits that will come if the Lone Star is to progress to its third nations cup, there is a serious need for the chief patron of sports, Her Excellency, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to take the lead in the mobilization aspect that would serve as a catalyst in propelling the red, white and blue outfit, the nations pride and joy, the best bastion for peace and reconciliation to make a lasting impression against its West African counterparts and perhaps get the ticket to South Africa, as in football, anything is possible.
Thankfully, the two committees set up by the LFA seems to be on the right track and we hope all be done to achieve the ultimate goal of victories over Nigeria and into the future.
There is also a need for the Lone Star to engage in full scale preparation for the Herculean task which entails a whole lot, ranging from mobilization, fund raising, technical preparation and other salient issues.
Firstly, the issue of funding is very paramount as such would improve things in getting the team to face the Nigerians. Liberians must rally behind the team. From cabinet ministers, every member in Government, the religious community, the business community, shoe shine boys etc. need to get involved in supporting the Lone Star. This is why the president must take the lead.
Our President (Chief Patron of Sports) must emulate the Late President Samuel Kanyon Doe who took the lead in lifting the Lone Star via massive support. And, why one would not in any way be suggesting that there is no need to give a cabinet minister or any high key official in Government the lead in rallying for the team as head of mobilization committee, a President Sirleaf led Lone Star mobilization committee will surely get the entire country involved as everyone would passionately rally behind the nation’s pride and joy.
Through funding, the relevant football authorities can design programs for the matches as there would be international friendly matches, players’ game bonuses being increased and much organization coming to the limelight as the country’s football ambassadors will be whole heartedly motivated.
Why the Lone Star might not be amongst the strongest or best teams on the continent by evidence of their lackluster form since the end of the George Weah led generation, it must however be noted that the best teams or the side with the best players are not always the champions or the ones that get the victory. It is through adequate preparation though and also sheer determination, focus and an element of luck that normally takes a team to places or make it achieve optimum results.
And, why Nigeria might be the favorite; the fact that the game remains unpredictable indicates that an upset is not impossible. The president must therefore take the lead in making the rest of the country more interested in the Lone Star’s dream of cruising to the AFCON 2013 finals a reality.
President Sirleaf’s leading role will make the rest of the country follow as she will get the religious community, the Bodios, Zoes, chiefs, students and even other foreign partners in the country deeply involved in supporting the Lone Star which would be a very good omen and a recipe for success.
Let it be clearly stated however that such massive support or mobilization program with the president at the apogee would at all cost make the team winsome.
We must however be positive and if even the team fails to qualify, the fact that the right thing was done in terms of a massive mobilization program with the president taking the lead will, to a large extent, serve as a consolation as the entire country will be appeased that the right thing was done. And probably it was just not the Lone Star’s time as a lot will begin to be put in place in working towards the future.