For many years Liberian youths and female teams were kept out of CAF Competitions, will Raji’s leadership get all the support to ensure that we compete with others?
Mr. Mustapha Raji, president of the Liberia Football Association has a herculean task on his hands. For several years, the period that encompassed the two past administrations at the LFA, youth and female football was not fully supported.
On numerous times, past officials would register the youth boys and girls teams to compete in the CAF Competitions, and just when the teams are being selected, there would an announcement that Liberia had withdrawn from the various youthful competitions.
Just imagine that! A young boy or girl, who has been preparing to play a game of his or her life and imagine their dream, they would tell their friends and many of their friends would consider them the most fortunate to play for Liberia.
Then suddenly, the dream is killed with an announcement by the Liberia Football Association. What hurts most is the fact that money for training was little or nothing, of course at least L$200, in today’s Liberia.
“You must be committed to your country,” was the message the kids were told again and again! In the end, their dream died and with great disappointment, they could only weep in their hearts, resigned themselves with the phrase that has become common when things go wrong in Liberia, “what can we do, this is the country we find ourselves.” How sad!
Mr. Raji, aware of some of these challenges, has come with a different platform. And truly, he would continue from where the last administration ended the job. Admittedly, it would not be easy but we know it could be done.
The other day, when President Georgia Weah led the national team to play against Super Eagles of Nigeria, he was so impressed with the outcome of the match that he was compelled to appeal for another African to win the Golden Boot (the Ballon d’Or that he won at the height of his career in 1985).
That record he set has not been broken and therefore he was another African to break it. Ok listen to this: it was during the administration of President Samuel Doe (with support from Willis Knuckles of blessed memory and former Senator Cletus Wotorson) that President Weah and many others were discovered in the slums of Clara Town, so is it possible that through President Weah and LFA, under Raji we could discover talented players elsewhere in Liberia to chase the President’s dream?
Every generation of Liberians has its own heroes. If we think we can not do it today, how was it possible for Weah and his group to be discovered in the 1980s?
It was possible because like Weah, Doe loved the game; like Weah, Doe was prepared to support the LFA and the Ministry of Youth to achieve his dream; like Weah, Doe was a darling of the people, I can go on but I think you get the idea.