The Alumni Association of the Booker Washington Institute or BWI has presented a cash donation of 55, 000 Liberian dollars to the national football team, the Lone Star as it prepares to host the Elephant of Ivory Coast in Monrovia on Friday, 13 November at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium, or ATS.
Addressing reporters Tuesday during a regular press briefing at the Ministry of Information on Capitol Hill, alumni president, Jonathan Paye-layleh said: “We have come in fulfillment of the promise we made to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf last year when the deadly Ebola Virus hit Liberia where we donated series of preventive materials to the government, especially major healthcare centers”.
Paye-layleh, a Liberian journalist and correspondent for the Associate Press, said the alumni association made a promise to support all national endeavors undertaken by the government in making sure it implements most of its priorities, adding that the little support citizens give the senior national team is better than just talking without doing anything to help the nation’s only pride.
Meanwhile, the Managing Editor for the Daily Observer Newspaper, Mr. Kenneth Y. Best, who is also a 1977 alumna of the BWI, said the donation is in solidarity with the national team to encourage the players to do their best in the impending match against the Elephants.
Mr. Best said it is about time Liberians demonstrate love for one another, saying “If we don’t exhibit that attitude, people are going to be living in their own country as slaves.”He said it is time for the citizenry to give their support to the national team, including the President of the Liberian Football Association, Musa Bility, is in the race for the FIFA presidency.
The veteran Liberian publisher said Bility’s decision to vie for the presidency of the world football governing body requires full support of every citizen. Receiving the money from the BWI Alumni Association, Mr. Bility, who was present at the press briefing, applauded members of the association for the kind gesture.
“I will make sure that the players receive this money, because it means more to them.”He called on Liberians to support the national team to victory, and cautioned citizens going to the stadium to watch the game to be law-abiding by staying off the field and adhering to security regulation to avoid the country being penalized by FIFA or CAF.
The Liberia Football Association was fined US$23,000 recently after jubilating fans stormed the playing pitch during the match between the Lone Star and Tunisia. Mr. Bility said if citizens claim to have love for the national team and the country, they will not do things that will hurt the nation.
By Lewis S. Teh