The Lone Star: 20 years without appearing for Nations Cup

By Naneka A. Hoffman (Contributor)

The National Team, Lone Star is yet to book her 3rd African Cup of Nations appearance in nearly 20 years. The Lone Star last played in the African prestigious tournament far back in 2002 when Mail hosted the football festival.

Liberia has been making efforts over the last 19 years but failed to make this push become reality. While taxpayers’ money is being pumped to the National Team, Liberians are not closer to her next appearance.

The technical committee at the Liberia Football Association and the national team coaches need to study the root cause or causes of our failures, and use our 19 years of failed experience as tools to prepare us for the next Africa Cup of Nations Qualification race.

One of the major factors preventing Liberians from this huge celebration is tied to the ‘ideology of building a new team’ each time the FA employs a new head coach.

This ideology affects the building process and development of national team players into a solid unit to take on this massive goal of taking Liberia to her third Nations Cup. 

Liberia’s blessed with naturally gifted footballers but coaches of the national team don’t allow them to play and develop together. This ‘Building A New Team’ ideology saw coaches like James ‘Salisa’ Debbah, Roberto Landi, and others startup from scratch – today, Liberians are experiencing the negative impacts of this ideology.

Chief Patron of Sports President George Weah played for the Lone Star during the Mali 2002 Nations Cup when he led the famous George XI, which for many Liberians, was the country’s best national team.

 One of the factors that made the George Weah XI so great was, they avoided the Rebuilding National Team ideology.

Instead, they continued with players the late President Samuel Doe supported, and kept their generation of players together for more than a decade, and this approach enabled the George Weah XI to develop a powerful and uncompromising national team in Africa.

But the current group of players on the national team can push Liberia to her 3rd Nations Cup, this can only happen if the Liberian FA under president Mustafa Raji can ensure coaches coming to the national team avoid this ‘Building new National Team’ ideology.

Liberians’ expectations for the Lone Star under President Weah are high, they are demanding more investments into football and a better national team that will take on Africa.

Getting to the 3rd Nations Cup is an achievable goal, but it will take a solid and unbending football policy that prevents coaches from breaking down this current breed of players because they are heading in the right direction. Editing by Jonathan Browne


The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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