Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai says sport is a unifier and therefore the country can be better united through serious engagements in the various sporting disciplines.
In an interview on a local radio yesterday, Ambassador Boakai said though he did not have the opportunity to play sport, soccer being his preference, the intrinsic value of sports makes it more expedient to be used as a medium to unite people.
He revealed that he would be traveling to London, England, sometime in October this year to bring back a banner for Arsenal fans in Liberia.
Ambassador Boakai also said he would receive a 16-20-seater team bus that he would donate to the national soccer team, Lone Star.
“I will also bring back set jerseys from Arsenal to organize fan clubs for the team in the various schools in the country,” he stated.
Ambassador Boakai is an ardent Arsenal fan.
Though he touched on many issues of his life and how he has always been a leader even during his high school days at the College of West Africa (CWA), the interviewer went through extra lengths to draw him out, compelling him to explain the circumstances that led to his meeting his lovely wife, Mrs. Katumu Boakai, with a chuckle, as it was heard on the radio yesterday.
It is instructive to note that many sporting bodies, including basketball, boxing and track and field are not provided with enough financial support for their development.
Recently, a 12-member team of junior Liberian track and field athletes could not participate in the ECOWAS Track and Field games held in neighboring Guinea because there was no money for the trip.
It is shocking that Ambassador Boakai is aware of the value of sports, but many top government officials have refused to see and therefore unwilling to provide the needed financial and material support for all the sporting codes in the country.
It may be recalled that the late President Samuel Kanyon Doe won the hearts of Liberians when he devoted much resources to sports, with the result being players like George Weah, James Salinsa Debbah, Chris Wreh and many others who went to become famous in Europe.
On the home front the Samuel Kanyon Sports Complex, began by the late President William R. Tolbert but completed by President Doe, is evidence of his legacy.