The continuous poor ranking of Liberia in FIFA and CAF’s rankings might have compelled Vice President Joseph Boakai to challenge ‘Team Bility” to build a strong, proud and disciplined football team.
For a little over a decade, Liberians have been embarrassed to call the national team of the country-the Lone Star, the Nation’s Pride and Joy, due to the team’s appalling performances.
Last Thursday, Liberia miserably dropped 22 places in the FIFA Coca Cola ranking for the month of April -2014 which is one of the worst movers as the country is 119 in the World and 34 in Africa.
Speaking during the induction ceremony of re-elected Executive Committee members of the Liberia Football Association, including its president and vice president for administration, over the weekend, Vice President Joseph Boakai urged ‘Team Bility’ to remain focused, filled with love for country and humanity and transform this great challenge into one big achievement.
“Do you realize how many people go to bed pleased because of a single goal? Let me challenge this corps of officers to help re-vitalize football in our country, Liberia,” he said.
He added: “I want to challenge you to leave a legacy of a strong, proud and disciplined football team that can represent Liberia worldwide,” Ambassador Boakai said, “The also goes to our division teams and the need to proudly raise our colors in their league and tournament matches.”
Delving on inarguably the most important part of the game, the youthful players, Vice President Boakai said that the country owes the young people much more than just an interesting and fascinating game of football on television.
“The country owes them an opportunity to take their game from the ‘Freetown-ball pitch’ behind their houses, to an environment of systematic tutelage under experienced minds,” he said.
“The dribbling wizardry of Ronaldihno, Christiano Ronaldo and the breath-taking foot-work of Messi should not be a perpetual dream of our footballers. These things can be taught and Liberian youths are capable,” Amb. Boakai noted.
He said, “We need to redirect the attention of young people to home grown talents. So you have the challenge. You did successfully take the elections and run with it. You now have to grab the challenge and bolt away with it.”
“Liberia as a country, emerging from civil conflict needs football to reconcile and foster peace-building initiatives,” he said.
Vice President Boakai meanwhile extolled the LFA ad the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the 5-year-multi-million dollars National Football Development Plan which offers a somber appraisal of the current state of affairs of football in the country and assured ‘Team Bility” of government’s support.
“For us in government, we are in this boat together with you. The role of the Ministry of Youth and Sports in your activities should serve as testimony to that reality,” he said, “We stand firmly with you in the task of designing those innovative ways by which the required funding can be sourced for the Plan’s implementation.”
Speaking on behalf of the 53rd National Legislature, the Chairman on House’s Committee on Rules, Order and Administration, Rep. Edwin M. Snowe assured the LFA of a huge budgetary allotment in the 2015/2016 Fiscal Budget, but said they would try in the 2014/2015 budget.
Commercial Court Judge Eva Mappy Morgan installed Presidental Musa Bility with a Holy Qu’ran and the rest of the Executive members were installed with a Holy Bible for a four-year term.
Those inducted included Musa Shannon, 1st vice president; Cassell A. Kuoh, Sr., 2nd vice president and Madam Ciata Bishop, female football representative, D. Sheba Brown, Rochell Woodson, Wallace Weiah, Ansu Dulleh, Samuel Karn, John Allan Klayee, Matthew Smith and Uriah Glaybo.
Unfortunately, Dee-Maxwell Kemayan, Sr and Cllr. T. C Gould were not in attendance. Also, outgoing 2nd Vice President Adolph Lawrence, Mustapha Raji, Sekou Konneh, Beatrice Mamie Kpoto, Cyrus Wright were not at the ceremony.