Deputy national soccer coach Kelvin Sebwe told hundreds of national team sympathizers at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium last Friday that unless they obey rules governing the game, whenever the national team scores a goal in a match, Liberia would be banned from hosting games in the country.
“We have received the last warning,” Sebwe told the large crowd, “and so in the next match we want you not to rush on the field no matter what happens.”
Sebwe asked the crowd: “Do you want the national team’s games to be played outside Liberia?”
The crowd responded: “No.” Sebwe repeated his question and the answer was the same, and therefore he urged them not to run on the field, anytime the national team is playing or when the national team scores a goal.
The national team, sponsored by Cellcom-GSM will take on The Elephants of La Cote d’Ivoire in November.
The gathering of a large crowd of Liberian soccer fans had joined national team players, including the home-based players during their parade through the principal streets of Monrovia.
They visited President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who had earlier on commended the national team for defeating Guinea Bissau in the second leg of their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.
On Friday, Cellcom GSM officials, along with hundreds of loyal fans thronged the stadium, rejoicing, singing and sharing jokes with each other as the national team’s players, after the parade climaxed the occasion at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium.
“It’s just good for us because now that the national team is making us happy, everyone is getting involved,” said an excited young woman who had come from Logan Town to see the national team players.
She added: “For the national team to play away and win on such a high margin to qualify for the next round is really some good news.”
Many who spoke to the Daily Observer were excited as they spoke about the national team’s achievement.
In attendance were government and private personalities, including George Kailondo and Rep. Munah Pelham Youngblood and as mentioned officials of Cellcom GSM. National team players paid a visit to Cellcom GSM’s headquarters on Capitol Bye Pass.
“The victory for the national team indicates that Liberia is ready to take on the world,” Rep. Youngblood said, very excited.
She said Liberians must now work together to be able to raise financial support to the national team.
“Our players are skillful,” she told journalists, “and so we need to provide all support to the national team.”
Mr. Kailondo, who promised the Kailondo Football Club would make its debut in the next soccer league, said he was excited that the national team could make Liberians proud.
“I cannot express my happiness,” Mr. Kalondo, a businessman, said, “the presence of hundreds of Liberians at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium here should indicate that Liberians love their national team.”
Before receiving the players at her office on Friday, President Sirleaf described the national team players as heroes who defended the image of the country in Guinea Bissau with an impressive 3-1 victory, after drawing 1-1 at home.
She commended the Ministry of Youth & Sports, the Liberia Football Association and the Liberian people for their support to the national team.
President Sirleaf, according to an Executive Mansion release observed that Liberians demonstrated their overwhelming support to the national team that they can unite for a common cause in spite of other matters that divide “us as a people.”
President Sirleaf promised that her government would work progressively to ensure the unhindered participation of the team, not just in the qualifying rounds of the African Nations Cup and the World Cup, but other major competitions as well.
Meanwhile, foreign-based national team players had already returned to their base to resume their regular assignments.