The former Lone Star player and national team coach, Josiah N. Johnson has expressed frustration about the 7-1 defeat of the female national team against their Nigerian counterparts last Sunday.
“I want to appeal to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to help take charge of the national team in order to take its winning position like the past,” Johnson said.
Making the disclosure yesterday at the Daily Observer office in Monrovia, the former player and coach said all national teams belong to the Government of the Liberia.
According to him, he was disappointed when the Falconets of Nigeria defeated the female U-20 national team 7-1, home soil.
He noted that Liberia lost due to lack of preparation for such an international competition.
He attributed the failure of the national female team, along with other losses of the male national teams to lack of financial support from the Liberian government.
Mr. Johnson said President Sirleaf must use the remaining two years of his administration to change the misfortunes of the national teams.
He said it is important he clarified that “all our national teams belong to Liberia, and therefore the Liberian government.”
President Sirleaf must recommit herself to take charge of the team to allow Liberia regain its past soccer glory, he said.
Coach Johnson said the Liberia Football Association is only charged with the responsibility to manage the technical matters of the various teams, but not to financially sponsor them.
“I found it very difficult that the president of the Liberia Football Association, Musa Bility, took the national team from the government and promised to sponsor the team. If this is true, why should the government agree to give her responsibility to LFA?” he said.
Mr. Johnson said he believes that Mr. Bility will not take his personal money to sponsor the national team and as such this must be the cause of the decline of the nation’s pride, the Lone Star in international competitions.
According to him, “Money that comes from FIFA is only for local football development and that is the role that Mr. Bility needs to play and not to be responsible to run the financial affairs of the national team.
“The Liberian government’s responsibility is to take charge of the national team. We lost to the Nigerian girls because our girls were not prepared and therefore we are not surprised of the result and we may get more if Liberia visits Nigeria,” Coach Johnson said.
He noted that past governments, including those headed by Samuel K. Doe, Charles Taylor, William V. S. Tubman and Richard R. Tolbert supported the national team over the years that led to its successes in continental and international competitions.