Footballing stakeholders gathered at the ministerial complex in Congo Town to honor the best performers from the 2020/2021 Orange national league, but the chief patron of sports didn’t show-up despite being invited by the organizing committee headed by LFA Marketing Consultant Rodney Wilson thru LFA secretary-general Isaac T. Z. Montgomery.
No reason was given by Wilson or former Liberia international Kelvin Sebwe and Grace “Master Queen” Weah, who served as hosts.
As outlined by the Awards Committee, President Weah, who won African Best, European Best and World Best Footballer awards (Ballon d’Or) in 1995, was to present the most valuable player (MVP) award in the male category.
But that task was handed to Bomi County Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe, who served as LFA President from 1997-2003.
Sen. Snowe was also the most senior government official along with Deputy Sports Minister Andy Quamie, who came at the eleventh hour.
LFA President Mustapha Raji, who delivered a closing remark, didn’t speak to President Weah’s absence at the ceremony speaks volumes about a lot of things, including the ban placed on the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex, poor performances of the men’s senior national team and how Raji and Montgomery unsuccessfully tried to blackmail the executive committee to FIFA.
President Weah, along with former Liberia international James Salinsa Debbah, handed the men’s MVP award for the 2019 Orange national league to Christopher Jackson of LISCR FC at the Monrovia City Hall on 2 November 2019.
First Lady Clar Marie Weah, who is CAF women’s football ambassador, was also invited but confirmed to the organizers that she would have been out of Liberia at the time of the ceremony.
The highlights of the awards went to Angeline Kieh, who played for Earth Angels and Fred Brooks of LPRC Oilers as MVPs. Kieh and Brooks will receive a well-designed SUV black jeep with a cash prize of L$300,000 and a mobile phone from Doxxbet-Liberia respectively.
Watanga FC striker Augustine Otu (L$500,000), Ousman Kamara (L$350,000) of Mighty Blue Angels and Kieh and Agatha Nimene (L$350,000) of Blanco FC were rewarded as the highest goal scorers in the first, second and female divisions.
Nimba FC (male) and Blanco FC (female) were honored as the most disciplined teams and will receive L$300,000 respectively.
LPRC Oilers coach Cooper Sannah (male) was named the best male coach for the second year in a row and will receive L$200,000.
The rest of the winners, including journalists Naneka Hoffman (female) of Hott FM and Joseph Vincent of the News newspaper, will receive L$200,000.
The awards were sponsored by the number one sports betting company Doxxbet-Liberia and the number telecommunications company in Liberia Orange-Liberia, which is the prime sponsor of Liberian football.
In a related development, newly-promoted Heaven Eleven has announced their withdrawal from the 2021/2022 Orange first division season, citing a number of irregularities with the awards.
In a letter seen by this paper on social media on 3 October, Club President Alvin Poure said they were surprised how their goalkeeper Teddy Kollie, who kept more clean sheets than winner Mohammed Kanu of Nimba Kwado, was given the best goalkeeper award.
According to information gathered, Kollie kept 16 clean sheets from 26 games in which they went 19 games unbeaten on their way to winning the second division championship while Kanu kept 13 clean sheets from 18 games.
The LFA has announced an investigation into the club’s allegation in a press statement issued on 4 October.