Tragedy has hit the Liberia National soccer team, the Lone Star ahead of its Olympic qualifying match against the Ivory Coast on Saturday in Ghana.
The Lone Star’s midfielder, Patrick Doeplah, also of Israel Hapoel Kfar Saba, met his sudden demise Tuesday morning, 22 March 2011 at the home of his ‘girlfriend’ whose name is still been with-held by Police.
The late Doeplah arrived in Liberia on March 21, 2011 from Israel as part of Liberia’s soccer contingent for the match against the Ivory Coast. He and four other professional players – Solomon Grimes, Patrick Jackson, Chris Gbandi and Williams Jebro were arranged by the Liberia Football Association or LFA to spend the night at the home of its Vice President for Administration Musa Shannon on the SD Cooper road in Paynesville.
An investigation conducted by this paper following the death of midfielder Doeplah suggested that the LFA that could not rent a hotel for the professional players invited for the international duties, asked its officials to accommodate the players, something the late Doeplah could not accept.
He refused to join other players as was arranged by the FA, pleading with officials and friends that he would spend the night at his parents’ residence in Gardnersville. The late Lone Star midfielder also used the opportunity to visit his girlfriend on the Old-road, opposite the SDA compound, just behind the Angie Glad night club.
Our investigation also revealed that the late Doeplah and his girlfriend were engaged in some unhappy moments in their relationship due to a request for the purchase a jeep, which Doeplah said he could not afford at the time.
He, along with a few of his friends reportedly visited a number of night clubs in the Airfield and others areas, and then returned home with his childhood friends by 2:AM on Tuesday. The late Doeplah, our investigation gathered, phoned his girl friend to returned home, but she refused his request due to the misunderstanding between them.
He later made his decision to sleep in his girlfriend’s room alone, while the others players slept in the next room in the two-bedroom apartment. When approached on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 by his friends for the early morning training session with the national team, there was no response from Doeplah.
Following countless attempts to get him up from bed, the players and other friends then forced the door open only to discover the young Liberian player helpless.
The players, frighened by the situation, contacted the LFA President Musa Bility who advised them to rush the helpless Doeplah to the JFK medical hospital in Sinkor for attention and it was at the hospital that Doeplah was later pronounced dead upon arrival by doctors.
The cause of Patrick Doeplah’s death is yet to be established. But Police are currently questioning his girlfriend in whose house the late Lone Star midfielder slept. This paper can’t say if the deceased Lone Star team-mates and other friends that were with him before he died are also being held. Police are still Investigating.