Cellcom GSM sponsored national soccer team (Lone Star) was expected to arrive home at 4am today, after a successful second leg match against Guinea Bissau in the preliminary qualifying rounds of the 2018 World Cup.
Lone Star’s arrival early this morning was confirmed by Mr. Henry Flomo, communications director at the Liberia Football Association.
Acting President Musa Shannon told sports journalists at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium yesterday that the Liberia Football Association will take the team to the Liberian people with a parade through the principal streets of Monrovia and to climax the occasion at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium with a fundraiser.
“This is to show our appreciation for the players and to let the Liberian people know what is going on after the team’s successful defense against Guinea Bissau,” he said.
Shannon said the national team; Lone Star’s 3-1 victory away was the first in 14 years.
“We are glad and want to congratulate Coach James Salinsa Debbah and the players for a wonderful defense of the nation in Guinea Bissau,” Shannon said.
He added, “There will also be a floater and a rally to generate funds to support the national team in the campaign.”
Shannon said while in the past there was a Lone Star Mobilization Committee, “This one is different because we want Liberians to come out at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium to see their heroes.”
Though the last Lone Star fund drive, which was headed by former Liberia Football Association president Rep. Edwin Snowe’s report that generated over U$1M and is yet to be made public on how the money was used, Shannon assured that for the sake of accountability, “any amount from the raffle will be announced immediately to the Liberian people.”
He said the parade is necessary because for the last several matches, against Togo, Tunisia and Guinea Bissau, the national team went through different stages of development.
Shannon commended the Liberian government for its financial support to the national team, and thanked the Ministry of Youth & Sports for its support as well.
Lone Star’s next target will be against The Elephants of the Ivory Coast in November, Shannon said, “and we must work together to ensure that success is certain.”
He appealed to Liberians to join the team in the parade and then at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium. “We are not targeting a specific sum of money in this campaign. We want Liberians to come in their numbers to make their donations,” he said.
Shannon noted that the official sponsor of the national team, Cellcom GSM’s officials will be in attendance at the program today.