The New Dawn (Monrovia)

Liberia: Weah Practices Nepotism?

Quiet disappointingly, the George Weah's vetting committee formulated to recruit qualified coaches for the national soccer team the Lone Star has vetted two of its own to prepare Liberia for the crucial world cup qualifier with Uganda in Monrovia on March 22, 2013.

The move has raised eyebrows, with lingering questions as to whether a Weah led government will ever make a different in the Liberian style of governance where friends and cronies are awarded portfolios amidst conflicts of interest.

The President of the Liberia Football Association Musa Bility appointed Weah last year to head a special technical vetting committee to scout for coaches for the national team.

The soccer ambassador subsequently set up a 10-member committee nine of whom are former players of the Lone Star, including Joe Armstrong Nagbe, Thomas Kojo, ex-coach Frank Jericho Nagbe and James Salinsa Debbah as co-chair, among others.

But instead of looking around both in and out of the country for competent coaches, the Weah's committee has selected two of its members Frank Jericho Nagbe as acting head coach and Thomas Kojo deputy coach, Joe Armstrong Nagbe as trainer, respectively for the Lone Star.

Frank Jericho Nagbe formerly served as head coach for the national team, but failed miserably in qualifying Liberia for the 2008 African Cup of Nations in Accra, Ghana.

The Weah's composition of the special technical vetting committee and the subsequent naming of committee members to prepare the Lone Star cast a dark cloud on the sincerity and transparency of identifying competent coaches that would do the job in what is being seen here as a nepotistic approach.

Ambassador Weah himself is currently out of the country, but speaking to The NewDawn via mobile phone from the United States, LFA President Musa Bility, confirmed the move that the committee members vetted themselves to act as technical heads for the pending match.

Bility, however, defended the nomination, saying football is not politics, an explicit endorsement of a process that leaves much to be desire as it relates to transparency, competence and conflicts of interest.

The Congress of Democratic Change or CDC Secretary General Nathaniel Mcgill when contact said he has limited ideas about the Weah's vetting committee's composition and could not comment further.

Meanwhile, critics of Liberian football have noted that such hasty decisions had been the root causes for the retrogression of the country's performance internationally, noting that the selection process for coaches and players are based on friendship or interest rather than who can actually produce positive results.

The pending qualifier is to prepare the way for Liberia's participation in 2014 World Cup to be hosted by Brazil.

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