Liberia’s Lone Stars Coach James Debbah says he will resign as care taker of the national soccer team, the prestigious Lone Stars. It is his second time announcing he will resign as coach in less than a month. After Liberia surrendered a two goal lead to the Togo Hawks at the Antoinette Stadium, in an afcons qualification in Monrovia, a fortnight ago, Debbah says the criticism coming his way are unwarranted from fans, because he has done a lot for the team. Never mind coaches are always on the hot seat, especially national and professional teams handlers. This writer thinks Debbah was not the right fit for the the team to begin with as he was being appointed last year by Musa Bility, the LFA president. Read below
By Hawa Wesseh
The appointment of James Salinsa Debah as Liberia’s Lone Stars coach shows yet again that Musa Bility, the Liberian Football Association(LFA) and its president have no direction at a time when most countries within the region are making progress and retooling to move their football programs forward. Matter of fact, while Musa Bility was busy chasing James Salinsa Debah, former Black Stars world cup coach, James Kwesi Appiah was in Sudan signing for a first division club that are not even champions in the Sudanese League. The Ghanian tactician and world cup tested coach signed with Sudanese side Al Khartoum SC for just about 15, 000dollars a month. This is the coach Liberia should have hired,we will leave that for another day.
It seems Musa Bility is bereft of ideas and the record is there to prove it. Since he took over the LFA, it has been nothing but dismal showings since he’s a businessman who is busy running his private companies entrusted to safeguard Liberia’s football future. What must be stated though is that James Salinsa Debah over the yeas has shown no interest in football since his playing career came to an end. He has attended no active advanced coaching courses like many ex internationals, Sunday Oliseh included.
What Mr. Debah has primarily been interested in is politics and not football. Campaigning and endorsing political candidates and declaring interest to run for a senatorial seat. Simply put and cordial sympathies aside, Debah doesn’t deserve the prestigious Lone Star coaching position!
Hence, the downward trend that Liberian football has experienced these past few years under the Bility administration must be challenged by stake holders and those who have interests in the game.
What has happened to the “commercialization of Liberian football” that Musa Bility promised when he desperately sought the LFA president’s position? Commercialization, under Bility’s administration has seen Liberian football still not return to profitability, even though it has raked in huge endorsement deals from cellular corporate giants in the country, and if I may add Federation of International Football Association (FIFA)’s support to Liberia remains strong.
However, the recent unveiling ceremony in which Liberia’s technical director Henry Brown told Liberians that James Debah and his assistants underwent a 21 day training program in Monrovia, and therefore were entitled to Licence B coaching certificates is laughable and unfortunate.
Thomas Kojo though must be commended and should be handed the Lone Stars job; he has been serious about coaching and he has shown that he can produce results . It can not be over emphasized that Liberian football is in trouble.
Danny Jordan has rescued South African football in a short period and the Bafana Bafana has return to winning ways; the Nigerian FA is currently retooling, removing its FA president after a ‘bad world cup’ in which the Super Eagles made the second round losing to France, a game that cost Nigeria, due to last minutes players’ mistakes—after a dominant performance. Les Bleus and Didier Deschamps were searching for answers when luck came their way. Probably Keshi’s best game, and the big boss despite putting in a good effort in my opinion, never mind his recent afcons challenges, will probably not stay on as the Super Eagles coach. Calls are growing louder everyday for him to leave the scene for fresh ideas. Maybe like Appiah, Keshi will take less money, just to prove Nigeria wrong. But James Debah was Bility’s best avaliable option!
Liberia’s neighbours Ivory Coast and the Elephants, Guinea and the Sylli Nationale, not to mention Ghana and the Black Stars are all formidable forces—all have their football programs on track; Sierra Leone is ranked one of the highest teams in the region.