27 June 2016

Liberia: Lone Stars Coach Takes Break From Coaching

The Lone Stars Head Coach, James Salinsa Debbah has said he is taking a break to seek medical attention in the United States. Debbah has announced he was resigning from the Liberian national team as head coach, terming criticisms against him as unfair and which have mounted in recent weeks. Veteran Ghanaian Coach Kwesi Appiah has been tipped to fill the void, a report the Liberian FA has denied. With less than twenty left on June 5, at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium in Monrovia, Debbah surrendered a 2-0 lead to fellow West Africans, the Togo Hawks. The home win mostly possibly could have seen the Lone Stars qualify the for continental fiesta to be held in Gabon in 2017, next year.

The former Lone Stars' player told a local Monrovia Radio station [RCI Sports] "I am taking a break to the US to seek medication attention. "I was very sick prior to the game, but nobody said anything about it, but all is criticism. I need to concentrate a little, I need a rest and I can't tell when I will be back." Reports say James Debbah attended all of the team practices before the cracker with Togo, and didn't show any signs of being sick, nor did he informed the LFA about his ailment, according to www.liberiansoccer.com.

"We have explicit confidence in James Debbah and his Deputy Kelvin Sebwe, and that confidence has not eroded," an LFA release have said. Although reports say James Debbah is yet to retract his statement and position to resign as coach of the Liberian national Team, the Liberian FA has said it stands by him. " I don't' get it," say an LFA source. "This is his second time the coach has said he is leaving the national team, threatening to resign in less than a month. His actions doesn't show any commitment; he has not said he retracted those statements, it seems the LFA and Musa Bility are forcing James to coach the team. And this is not good for Liberia, he doesn't seems to have the commitment and determination given his recent statements and attitude, not to add the technical ability."

Mr. Debbah has said the LFA needed to find a new coach, as he was not sure of returning to the country any time soon "even if I don't return somebody can step in my place, this is a national duty, not only Debbah can do this job, others are capable," the much maligned coach have said.

Henry Boyd Flomo, the former Liberian Football Association Communications Director, told a Monrovia news outlet that James Salinsa Debbah's has already threatened to resigned on two occasions, and that Liberian FA" could not await a hat-trick."

The coach have have said he is not anxious to coach the Stars, further lending credence that his commitment to the team is not solid.

Reports say the LFA has underpaid James Debbah, also. Sources say he is being paid 5000.00 United States Dollars monthly, which would amount to about 60.000.00 annually. But frontpageafricaonline, puts the amount to about 3500.00 or 42.000.00. James Debbah's contract is yet to be made available to the public, therefore no one knows if her earns bonuses as per wins draws etc, during major competitions. Since his appointment he is only responsible for the national team made of mostly professional players and the local home base during completions, with various Liberian youth teams being coached by former Liberian Lone Stars players. His assignment reports say, is focus around major competitions only. However the Liberian FA has not said how much he is being paid and the terms of his contract. The coach recently signed with a local Telecommunication giant Libtelco, to be the face of the corporation in his capacity as coach of the National Team. Details of the deal was also not made avaliable to the public.

The Liberian football also announced this week it was cutting and getting rid of Liberia's youth teams and coaches due to financial constraints. Efforts to call for an audit to determined the financial viability of the LFA in recent years has not been successful.

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