Tactical workout ahead of the 2017 AFCON and the 2016 CHAN qualifiers which should have begun on Monday, April 21, was suspended over the lack of super players.
The “pick and choose” of these cream of local players are giving Coach James Salinsa Debbah severe headache, particularly in the absence of the domestic cream of players.
It seems that the two weeks’ tour on some 1st and 2nd practice grounds which led to the selection of 10 players from BYC FC were not enough to seal the final 24 local players to kick off the training.
Reports say that the crucial call-up of players is finally hinged on an eight-day football league, known as Coca-Cola Top 8 Tournament.
The tourney which begins on Friday, May 1 to Friday, May 8, at the Blue Field, with eight top teams, includes onetime arch rivals, IE and Barrolle.
The other six participating teams include BYC, FC Fassell, Nimba United, NPA Anchors, Watanga FC and Aries FC.
It might be laughable in the absence of a domestic league for a coach to pick players from a “Special Tournament” but the exclusion of some other top teams from the tourney is laughable.
The clubs’ omission might have been either “deliberate for a payback of sour relationship” or “calculated attempt to deny other players of wearing the national team jersey to have their first run.”
However, LFA Secretary General B. Alphonso Armah in defense of leaving out of one of the top teams, LISCR FC, said the selection was done by the LFA’s Competition Committee.
The Competition Committee’s Chairman, Ansu Dorley, who is the chairman of the First Instant Board, responsible for the certification and de-registration of clubs also added the selection was done based on merit.
Interestingly, LISCR FC is comparatively one of the two best teams in the first division, with a double championship, knockout and super cup titles and other titles.
LISCR FC is also the 2nd most organized team to BYC while FC Fassell is still struggling to be third despite their big spending. The third most organized team is inarguably Nimba United.
Nevertheless, besides the stoppage of the domestic league, another problem that would delay the “pick and choose” of players would also be absence of a Deputy Coach – who could technically prop the head coach in recruitment.
Meanwhile, with 46 days to go to the Togo mission, there are lots of hesitations that the Debbah’s boys would spin the wheel of the qualifiers in the country’s favor.
Even though, Coach Debbah has mentioned 40 overseas-based players to blend with the topnotch locals, truthfully with the crash in our economy owing to the hit of the Ebola Virus the actualization of more than five players to play in the 2017 AFCON qualifiers would be a miracle.
Many football connoisseurs have considerable doubtful that the employment of inexperience Coach Debbah; the delay in the selection of players, lack of deputy coach and the unpleasant relationship with the LFA and the Liberian government coupled with the ‘No Money Syndrome” would question if Liberia can qualify since we last appeared in 1996 and 2001.