It would seem that President George Weah waited for a leadership that he could trust to come to power at the Liberia Football Association (LFA) before opening up what he would do for the national football team, Lone Star. This was evidence of the president’s disclosure to send the team to a training tour in Brazil after the team’s recent 1-1 draw with DR Congo.
President Weah would be sending the players to the country that the late President Samuel Doe sent him (Weah) and his colleagues in the 1980s which, without question, prepared him for his soccer sojourn later.
President Weah is following the footsteps of the late President Doe in the development of the national football team. In Lone Star’s glorious days, countries of Ghana, Egypt, Malawi — few remarkable soccer nations in Africa—bowed down to Liberia, right here in Monrovia—and George Weah and his colleagues were the masters who did the job.
Now the new LFA president, Mustapha Raji, said in his first official statement that he has come, willing to work with the Ministry of Youth & Sports to develop several disciplines that had been inactive in the last eight years. And this is good news. Raji said he had come to football determined to do less talk and take the ball to the field.
As a former president of football clubs, Mustapha (as he is popularly called by friends) knows how to develop the game. For over twenty years he built young teams to prominence. And the young man’s knowledge of the game is commendable. Mustapha did not mince his words when he told the executive committee of the Liberia Football Association, who make up the core unit to develop the game that if any of them, entertains the belief that they are at the LFA to make money then there are mistaken. In practical terms, Mustapha is saying he is taking the development of the game to the pitch that will pay greater attention to the young men and women whose blood make up the foundation of football development.
It means things will not be done as usual. “You members of the Executive Committee,” Mustapha said, “we have decided to come here to work in the interest of Liberian people…” And that was exactly what members of the Executive Committee chose to do: to work in the interest of Liberian football.
With Mustapha’s goal to develop football in the various categories, it will be good that his fresh ideas would be supported in both financial and material from sources responsible to do so to ensure that at the of his first term in four years we will see new direction that we have all been yearning for.
For now, we want to commend him and hope that he would encourage other Liberians with the technical knowledge to get the job done into his fold.