The Ministry of Youth and Sports has finally awakened from its long slumber, during which it remained a passive witness to successive defeats of Liberian Teams in the international sports arena.
The Daily Observer, in a recent editorial, lamented the slumbering stance of MYS, when Liberia’s Lone Star Football Squad, for the umpteenth time lost to Togo in a miserable encounter. The Newspaper criticized what seemed to have been the absolute supremacy of the Liberian Football Association (LFA) over soccer in Liberia.
Arguing forcefully that the Lone Star indeed represented the Republic of Liberia every time it engaged in an international encounter, the Newspaper called on the Liberian government to take ownership of the country’s sports.
The MYS attempted to do just that when, on August 14, 2015 it issued an important document which serves, it said, “as a catalyst for all subsidy receiving federations and associations to work within set parameters…” These parameters would provide “access to establish measurable indicators to track their deliverables/activities in consonance with by-laws and constitutions.”
Under the headline, “MYS Now Takes Ownership of Sports,” the Daily Observer reported on its sports page that “the document is clear on the whys and hows to develop the various sports and explains the Ministry’s constitutional role as the representative of the Liberian government.”
This is a most and welcome statement of commitment on the part of the MYS, which we hope will be embraced by the entire Liberian government.
The MYS has done these things and more, which we find commendable. First, Minister Eugene Nagbe has expressed renewed faith in the Lone Star and its chances for qualification in the 2015 World Cup. This is good because it shows that we have not given up on our National Squad but believe that they can yet bring glory to Liberia.
Secondly, as a tangible follow-up to the Minister’s expression of optimism, he and his team have held discussions with Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara Konneh. This is very important because he holds the purse – the financial resources needed to push sports in Liberia, especially football, at long last, forward. We pray that the MYS, the LFA and all other stakeholders, will develop realistic plans and strategies to turn the Lone Star into a dynamic WINNING Team.
Thirdly, the MYS is seriously thinking of intervening to resolve the leadership crisis in the National Basketball Association. Heaven knows that Liberian sports need a lift, to turn its various components into serious, achievement-oriented, dynamic and winning Teams. Let us stop the bickering and quarrelling among ourselves and with cohesion, unity and purposefulness, achieve the goals we set for ourselves. Let us put aside all feuds and work with singleness of purpose to make Liberia second none on the African sport map.
Remember, we are Africa’s oldest independent republic. Let us demonstrate this historical uniqueness by empowering our sportsmen and women to go out and win, win, win!
But how can they do this? This first item of business is strong and effective organization. The second is unity and cohesiveness. The third is TRAINING, TRAINING, TRAINING.
We have heard other successful sports nations have done it. Each has several sports academics, emphasizing various sporting disciplines. These include football, track and field, basketball, boxing tennis, golf, badminton, kickball and swimming.
One last point we must make in this editorial is that government alone cannot do it. We, therefore, call on all people of goodwill with the means – and we do have many such people in our country – to come forward and lend their moral and material support to the development and expansion of Liberian sports.
We are here calling on individuals, churches, schools, business institutions, civic and social organizations to rally to the cause of developing, empowering and promoting sports in Liberia, so that our teams in all sectors of sports become second to none on the continent of Africa.