The Liberia Football Association (LFA) needs the involvement of the business community to thrive.
The LFA is one of the largest employers of young people for the mere fact that players in both the first and the second divisions are paid for their services.
It may not be true that players in the second division are not paid for their services, but the Club Licensing System (CLS) introduced by CAF and being implemented by the LFA is ensuring that 22 players each from all 11 first division teams in the league are paid every month.
This is happening despite the poor patronage of the league, which is the main thrust of this article.
For the last several years, Cellcom GSM, said to be the leading and affordable mobile service provider in the country, has sponsored both the national league and the national team.
Presently, the league is known as Cellcom League for the mere fact that the mobile giant supports the league financially.
Though Cellcom GSM also supports the national soccer team, it has been constrained to use the title the ‘NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM,’ whenever releases from Cellcom GSM talk about the pride of the nation.
The difficulty here is that since Liberians have already been outsmarted to hand over their national identity, LONE STAR, to a business entity that is competing with Cellcom GSM, it become very awkward for Cellcom GSM to call its competitor’s name in its promotions and therefore it has chosen to use the ‘NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM.’
Since LFA President Musa Bility values Cellcom GSM’s sponsorship of the league and the national team, it’s expedient that the legal contacts are made to ensure that the name LONE STAR does not exist to promote any business in Liberia.
Bility has always expressed the immense contributions that Cellcom GSM continues to make to resuscitate Liberian football; hence, his outfit must begin the discussion to set matters straight. Though I am not aware of Cellcom GSM indirectly launching a surreptitious campaign to encourage Liberians to correct the mistake, I think someone must speak out, for many readers can attest to the phenomenal change for the better that Cellcom GSM’s support to Liberian football has brought to the country.
And without doubt Cellcom GSM’s avowed determination to throw money behind Liberian football should be enough to get the LFA on its feet to ensure that what was done to hand over Liberia’s national identity on a silver platter is corrected.
It is proper for the name Lone Star to represent no other community but Liberians, since it is a symbol of our national identity.