President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said she is quite honored and described as an unexpected pride the decision by the West African Football Union (WAFU) Congress to name the regional tournament in her honor; adding it is not for an honor bestowed on me but a recognition of the LFA’s leadership, the country and football enthusiasts.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf was speaking in Monrovia over the weekend when a high-powered delegation led by LFA President, Mr. Musa Hassan Bility formally presented an official communication on the decision of the WAFU just ended Congress held in Dakar, Senegal – conferring the WAFU Tournament in honor of the Liberian leader.
President Sirleaf termed the decision as a rallying cause for Liberia to reach out to the private sector and development partners with a view to using it to Liberia’s advantage towards the development of the skills, talents and sports infrastructure. She said despite challenges faced by the national team amid some success, it was encouraging that Liberian-based Club teams were out there trying to compete.
She lauded LFA President, Musa Bility and the entire leadership of the Football Association and pledged her administration’s support in working with her colleagues in the sub-region to ensure a successful tournament.
Earlier, LFA President Musa Bility said he was pleased to inform President Sirleaf of the decision emanating from the WAFU Congress held in Dakar, Senegal – thus unanimously naming the regional tournament in the Liberian Chief Executive’s honor.
The LFA boss said WAFU Secretariat anchored its determination in favor of President Sirleaf based on her leadership at the national, regional and global stage. Mr. Bility said applications from both Nigeria and Togo posed no challenge to the Congress’ unanimous action in favor of Liberia. The tournament commences October 29, which coincides with President Sirleaf’s 76th birthday.
According to the FA President, the WAFU tournament has over the last 15 years not been named in honor of any particular distinguished personality; noting the late Togolese President, Gnassingbe Eyadema was last regional leader in whose honor the tournament was named.