President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was among the thousands of celebrants that saluted Liberian champions, Barrack Young Controllers, when they vanquished Ghanaian champions, Asante Kotoko on Sunday, February 16 at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium.
Those gallant men proved the cynics wrong, for the mighty club of the century, Asante Kotoko, could not advance to the 1/16th stage of the prestigious 2014 CAF Championship League.
Now we are excited to inform President Sirleaf and corporate Liberia that another Liberian club, Red Lions will be out to make another history.
That history will be on Friday, February 28, 2014 against the oldest soccer club of Algeria, Club Sportif Constantinois. This club was established in 1929.
This tournament is the CAF Confederation Cup, formerly the Mandela Cup. And with President Sirleaf’s close contact with the former legend of African politics, whether the Cup is no more in his honor or otherwise, we want President Sirleaf to join the team’s efforts to make history the Liberian way.
It is interesting to note that while Red Lions will be battling it out with the Algerians on Friday, two days later, (Sunday, March 2, 2014) BYC will also be in action against Ivorian champion club, Sewe Sport of San Pedro in the 1/16th final of the CAF Championship League at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium.
What we request President Sirleaf to do now is to make some calls to corporate Liberia. We are referring to concerned companies operating in Liberia that are have their corporate social responsibilities to ensure the success of ventures that Liberian sportsmen are involved.
We have in mind companies like Sime Darby, Golden Valerum, Western Clusters, BHP Biliton, Mittal Steel, NOCAL, TOTAL, NPA, Central Bank, LONESTAR MTN, CELLCOM GSM, AQUALIFE, among others to provide the team some financial and material assistance.
This request is important because success in the sporting arena will help young people to focus. Success by Liberian sportsmen will boost the national agenda in transforming the youths. These are some of the reasons that we feel strongly that President Sirleaf’s involvement is cardinal.
And also cardinal is Youth & Sports Minister Eugene Nagbe whose administration is at a threshold of changing the soccer misfortunes of Liberia. Never has a minister’s success by Liberian youths been more realistic. When in his life did he hear a Liberian side defeating a club like Asante Kotoko? It never happened in the days of George Oppong Weah and James Salinsa Debbah!
While we must commend Minister Nagbe, and his team at the ministry for BYC’s success, his contribution to the successes, particularly of the two teams, next weekend cannot be over-emphasized.
The facts are clear: Ghana’s top flight club, one of the most successful soccer clubs in Africa, whose leader is the king of the Asante people met their waterloo in Monrovia, should inspire Liberians for the rebirth of Liberian football.
Hence, we must increase the efforts so that their counterparts in Algeria and La Cote d’Ivoire who will be coming to Liberia to meet our champions face the same fate which can only be done with the total involvement of our leaders whose duties include decisions necessary to ensure such successes.
The empowerment of Liberian youths which began on February 16th at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium must continue unabated.
For Liberian soccer fans, they deserve successes that can only be attained by their moral support to our heroes that have accepted the challenge to defend Liberia on the soccer field.
This is an era of changes and no Liberian should sit back unconcerned.