Liberia: Saudi Football Federation to Install Artificial Turf at Stephen Tolbert Field

Liberia Football Association president Mustapha Raji and Saudi Football Federation president, Yasser Al Misehal, exchange Liberia’s national team jersey

Liberia must build more cutting-edge football facilities because the country still has a large population of passionate young football players who lack access to safe playing fields. Besides, football remains the most popular sport in the country, the only nation in Africa to produce a Ballon d'Or winner — current president George Weah. So the case for adequate football facilities around the country is quite compelling at this point — and now or never.

Fortunately, there are locations where new football stadiums could be built, but the locals lack the funding to do so.

The Liberia Football Association (LFA), however, is making every effort to guarantee that young people in those communities have access to a secure playing surface.

The Saudi Football Federation (SAFF) and the Liberian Football Association (LFA) recently met in Saudi Arabia, during which the Saudi FF gave the Liberian FA the assurance that, as part of its dedication to the development of football in Liberia, artificial turf would be installed at the Stephen Tolbert Sports Pitch.

The objective of the meeting was to strengthen the technical partnership between the two football governing bodies.

As the project is anticipated to begin soon, it is said that soil testing and a geotechnical survey have been completed on the site.

The Stephen Tolbert Field is one of the venues that attract major football competitions in Greater Monrovia’s Gardnersville Township.

The Saudi FA, during the meeting, also promised to provide the LFA with a variety of technical support, including funding for eight Liberian referees to attend an elite referee course and a training camp for the men’s and women’s U17 teams in Liberia, both of which would take place in Saudi Arabia at the Saudi FF’s expense.

Additionally, in honor of George Weah and as a means of “strengthening the bond between our two countries’ football”, Liberia will host an eight-team competition with financial support from the SAFF. The tournament will feature a team from Saudi Arabia 

Just a few days prior, LFA President Mustapha Raji announced that the Gompa Stadium in Ganta, Nimba County, and the David Kuyon Sports Stadium in Gbarnga, Bong County, are the two new stadiums that will receive new artificial turf in 2023 as part of the FIFA Forward program.

As of now, Liberia has invested US$4,171,610, or 98% of the US$4,250,000 that FIFA has allotted for projects in Liberia’s designated FIFA Forward 2.0 funds for the 2016–2022 cycle.

Of the total amount spent, LFA put US$3,792,270 into the construction of three artificial fields (Tusa Field, SKD Practice Pitch, and Doris Williams Pitch), three mini-stadiums with changing rooms and medical facilities, floodlights at Tusa Field and ATS, and an electronic scoreboard at ATS.