PHOTO: President Weah (fourth from left) flanked by Dikko (third from left) and Gusau (fourth from right) alongside officials of the Liberian Government and High Commission of Nigeria in Monrovia.
President of the Republic of Liberia, Mr. George Oppong Weah has hailed Nigeria as a great and worthy ally in national development, while describing Nigerian Football as a model that he wants his country to follow.
Speaking after Tuesday night’s exhibition match between the Lone Star and the Super Eagles at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Monrovia, which the Eagles edged 2-1, Weah, a former World Footballer of the Year, revealed that Nigerian Football has always inspired him.
“As a young, upcoming footballer, I was always fascinated by Nigeria’s football stars. I looked up to the likes of Stephen Keshi, Rashidi Yekini, Friday Ekpo and others and believed that the African footballer can also get to the very top. I believe that in Africa, somewhere, there is another Ballon D’Or winner. We have to find him, expose him to the world and give him the opportunity to actualize his dream,” Weah, who was named African, European and World Footballer of the Year in 1995, said.
While commending the Government of Nigeria, the Nigeria Football Federation and the Super Eagles for the honour done him on the occasion which was to celebrate his contributions to Liberian Football, Weah revealed that as a people, Liberians look up to Nigeria’s pedigree in the round leather game and will work hard to get there.
Weah and former national team mate, James Debbah led out the Lone Star against the Super Eagles in a game played in an ambience of warmth, mutual respect and good spirit. Henry Onyekuru and Simeon Nwankwo scored for Nigeria in the first half while Liberia reduced the deficit through a penalty kick in the second half when Oluwasemilogo Ajayi handled in the box.
NFF 2nd Vice President Shehu Dikko and Executive Committee member Ibrahim Musa Gusau led the Nigerian delegation to Monrovia.