Liberia’s Pride to Elect Officials Friday

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Johnson Kollie,(VPA), Sam Eastma_web.jpg

They are described as the ‘Powerhouse’ of Amputee football in Africa, because they have won the prestigious African Cup of Nations on three consecutive occasions.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was recently ecstatic about their achievements, and was moved to donate a bus for their upkeep.

At her last address to the 53rd Legislature, President Sirleaf spoke fondly about the team, and many Liberian football lovers have come to accept them.

Though during their campaigns abroad, financial constraints have always been challenges, however, Liberians who have been touched by their determination to make use of what they have left, have come to their aid.

One of such person is Mr. Robert Sirleaf, who during a recent campaign against the visiting Kenyan National Team, made a personal contribution for their success.

Today, July 18th, at 12p.m. at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium, members of the Liberia Amputee Football and Sports Association, (LAFASA), will host its elections.

While the contestants are mainly their kind, they have no illusion that they are taking the right initiative, said Coach Alfred E. Talery, Jr., who has been with the team in its growth.

Team member Eric Myers once told journalists that, “playing soccer and being cheered on by fans, is like psychological counseling.”  

“We always counsel them in regular devotions to keep them focus on their priorities,” admitted Coach Talery, Jr., the soft spoken manager. He was with the team in their first victory against Sierra Leone in Monrovia.

In their small way, they are managing, and encouraging themselves. Elections on Friday will affirm their trust in their own leadership, which is now under the leadership of President Cooper Melvin Gotteh, who is also seeking re-election.

The qualified candidates are: Johnson Kollie, (VPA), Sam Eastman, (Sec. General), Anthony Doe, (Treasurer), Festus Harrison, (Asst. Sec. General), Cooper Melvin Gotteh (President) and Dennis Parker (VPO).

Since the Amputee Lone Star is the only team to bring pride to the nation, Coach Talery Jr., hopes that, “The business community and all Liberians will identify with them.”

The philosophy behind amputee football is the celebration of the human spirit, and dignity.

And as Coach Talery Jr., confirmed to the Daily Observer Wednesday, “We have expectations to be realized and our only prayer is that the Liberian people will give us a chance.”

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