The recent appointment of First Lady Mrs. Clar Weah by the Confederation of African Football by the continental body as ‘Ambassador on Women Football’ is to ensure that women football in Africa and Liberia in particular, get additional momentum in its development on the continent.
This suggests that through her influence, she could set the stage to motivate women in responsible positions across the continent to get material and all necessary support from the various governments in Africa, to improve the standard of the game.
And for us in Liberia, Mrs. Weah’s appointment holds a promise of the good that could happen to female football. But the question is, where should CAF Ambassador Weah start her advocacy? Ok, since charity begins at home, we are hoping that Mrs. Weah will pay careful attention to female football in the country and recommend efforts for its improvement.
Hence her office, if she should set up one, would do well to carefully review the female game in Liberia, with the help of the Liberia Football Association, to understand what to do next.
For a fact, the Liberian female soccer has not been supported well by the Liberia Football Association. Despite promising women talents in the country, it is difficult to remember the last time the LFA provided assistance to the women to prepare for any of the female soccer tournaments that are organized by CAF. So, while CAF’s female tournaments are held every year in the various divisions, Liberia has not been able to prepare a team for any of them. This said report also affects all of the country’s youth soccer teams.
In fact, at previous local games at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium, female players are left to agonize over the fact that they decided to play the game. Their administrators, that is, owners of the clubs, have always dug deeper into their own pockets to provide basic necessities, like boots and incentives, to make the game more attractive for the players.
However, there are people at the LFA who believe that Liberian football is improving because at least an official of the LFA has ascended to be a member of CAF’s Executive Committee. While there may be some truth in that, it is not the real true when we measure the LFA’s success on Liberia’s participation in CAF tournaments regarding its support to the female teams.
Of course, while admittedly an LFA official’s ascension to CAF leadership is encouraging, how does it measure when Liberian female teams hardly participate in CAF tournaments? How are we happy to allow our girls to compete with their counterparts in CAF tournaments and delude ourselves that Liberian football is improving because one of us is part of the CAF Executive Committee?
With all due respect, Mrs. Weah will have to make individual contacts with those whose sweat is sustaining the female soccer game. Yes, the owners of the female clubs and listen to their appeal.
It is safe to suggest that CAF authorities saw the opportunity to draw Mrs. Weah in their fold, in order to help the female soccer sector because of her husband, President George Weah’s ascendancy to Liberia’s highest office. For President Weah’s ascendancy is a boost to world football.
Before embarking on her terms of reference for CAF, regarding the continent, Mrs. Weah will have to deal with how to make the female soccer game more attractive and beneficial to the young women who are determined to make the game popular in Liberia?
Mrs. Weah would also have to find out why Liberian female teams are not heard of whenever CAF’s female tournaments are held. That way she would understand why Liberia is always absent in such prestigious tournaments and as a consequence recommend the way forward.
For the meantime we say welcome to women football and may we hope that your presence would empower one of the marginalized sectors of football development in Liberia.