Liberia: Grand Kru Wants End to 32-Yr. 'Trophy Drought'

... Holds mass meeting in New Kru Town

Authorities of Grand Kru County said they will on Saturday, November 16, 2019, hold a 'mass meeting' aimed at soliciting moral and financial support in a bid to end the county's 32-year 'trophy drought' from the National Sport County Meet.

Accordingly, President George Weah and Grand Kru County District #2 Representative J. Fonati Koffa will be invited to attend the meeting, having been formally commended for paying the county's arrears to prepare afresh in the 2019/2020 County Meet, which might begin mid-December.

Historically, the county has lifted the football trophy in the National County Sports Meet four times (1974, 1977, 1985 and 1987), convincingly beating Margibi County 4-1 since the annual sports meet was inaugurated in 1956.

Then Sasstown Territory (the hometown of the grandmother of President Weah) won the County Meet in 1970, before becoming part of Grand Kru County in 1974, and then lifted the trophy four times.

Grand Kru County is the only Southeastern county that has lifted the football trophy four times. Maryland, Grand Gedeh and River Cess, have separately and singly lifted the football trophy in 1956, 1989 and 2007 respectively.

Joe M. Sekpeh, the county's assistant superintendent for development as well as the county's Sports Coordinator, told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview yesterday, that the pending 'mass meeting' will be held in the hall of the Borough of New Kru Town at 4:00 p.m.

"The Grand Kru County Legislative Caucus, prominent sons and daughters, including stakeholders and former players, are expected to be in attendance," Sekpeh said.

He said that President Weah and Rep. Koffa have jointly paid US$7,000 (equivalent of L$1.5 million) to pay-off their arrears, and same fund is being used for training and justification of players in the county's team for the 2019/2020 County Sports Meet.

During the meeting, Mr. Sekpeh said the citizens will be informed about the justifications of players for the football and kickball teams, intensive training and budget, which are under the spotlight of the over three decades severe drought, and the cultural breakthrough for the game.

He admitted that about 60 percent of the players will be recruited from the county, while the remaining 40 percent will be Montserrado County-based Grand Kru County players.

"For decades, the enduring woes of the county in the National Sports Meet have been attributed to a lack of moral and financial support from citizens of the county," Sekpeh said.

He added, "We are grateful to the continuous support and the initial contributions from the President and Rep. Koffa to settle our arrears. We also want to thank Senate President Pro Tempore Albert Chie, Senator Peter Coleman, and Grand Kru County District #1 Representative Nathaniel Barwah for their contributions."

"We call on other residents in the diaspora to help the county regain its pre-war status by ending the 32-year-old trophy drought," Sekpeh appealed.

He continued, "We need all hands on deck, mobilizers, fund raisers, moral support and mass cheering crowds." Besides failing to end the drought, the football team has poorly performed in the immediate past four years, with the result that they were kicked out in the preliminary rounds.

For this year's 2019/2020 Sports Meet, Grand Kru County has been paired with host county Maryland, River Gee, and Grand Gedeh counties. Two of the four teams, which will accumulate the highest points, will be qualified for the quarter finals in Monrovia.

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