Liberia honour VAR: Why Weah is on and offside with Wenger medal

Back home, the argument was that giving the highest national honour had to reflect the magnitude of the recipient’s contribution to the country. That Wenger had undoubtedly done so much for Weah as a

Liberia’s president George Weah recently conferred his country’s highest honour on ex-Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. The move elicited varied responses for and against the action.



One thing was clear, that the criticisms were not going to have the potency to flag the event offside. So it took place in Monrovia, August 24, as Weah decorated the Frenchman man who discovered him way back in 1988.



Back home, the argument was that giving the highest national honour had to reflect the magnitude of the recipient’s contribution to the country. That Wenger had undoubtedly done so much for Weah as a person and not Liberia as a country.



Others averred, much as the president could award honours, the category he had chosen to confer on Wenger reflected a personal will than that of the Liberian people.



Then a minister stepped in to explain / justify why Wenger and why the highest national award. In summary, he said the award was even beyond Wenger’s impact on Liberia but on Africa as a whole – given the opportunities he gave African players whiles coaching.



Information Minister Eugene Nagbe in response to criticisms of the award told the BBC the award was not only about Wenger’s impact on Weah alone but a way to recognize that the Frenchman had “contributed to sports in Africa and has given many Africans opportunities.”



For those that see the move as justified, they argue that the president is well within his powers to confer an award on any individual he deems fit. That he would hardly have unilaterally done so without the agreement of an advisory council.



Again, they advance the argument that long before Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leila Gbowee were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Liberia was best known for its protracted deadly and devastating civil war.



The days when any glimmer of hope and stability was shattered with the taking of arms, when Liberia’s internal crisis threatened an entire sub-region principally Sierra Leone, when nationals were scattered around West Africa as they fled the war back home.



In those days, there was the ‘patriotic’ young man called George Weah, a young man who gave Liberians something to rally around. He brought football to citizens home and abroad.



Weah is on record to have singlehandedly financed travels of the national team across Africa as they engaged in qualifiers for tournaments or even to play in friendly games – he was in essence the main financier of national team football in Liberia.



Winning international accolades over the time also brought Liberia to the fore and he took the opportunity at every turn to file for peace back home. Weah knew that his journey started three decades ago thanks to Wenger signing him for Toulouse.



The two went their separate ways as Wenger took on Arsenal years later whiles Weah travelled around Europe making a name for himself.



So the argument about Wenger’s impact on Liberia for some, is tied to Weah’s overall impact on the country especially through the years of turmoil. For others, Weah could probably not convince any other president to award Wenger that kind of medal.



The final whistle has since been blown and Liberia’s national honours has in it that Arsene Wenger is a Knights Grand Commander, Humane Order of African Redemption (KGC-HOAR) thanks to President George Weah.





Shaban Abdur Rahman Alfa

Africanews, Digital Journalist

alfa.shaban@africanews.com

@AlfaAfrican

Anthony Joshua to defend his titles in New York on June 1

After the fight against Miller, Joshua, in the event of a victory, would logically have to compete for the supremacy of the heavyweights against winner of the Duel between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fur

Anthony Joshua, IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight champion, will defend his titles on June 1st in the United States.

The Brit, who had 21 victories by KO in 22 fights, will face America’s Jarrell Miller, nicknamed “Big Baby”, in the Madison Square Garden in New York.

This is Joshua’s first professional fight in the United States.

“Wembley means so much to me, it’s a wonderful and fantastic place. I fought in small halls, arenas, and it was an honour and a blessing to do so in the stadiums. But it’s time to change”, Joshua said.

The Nigerian-British boxer also regrets the cancellation of a fight between him and Deontay Wilder, the undefeated WBC world heavyweight champion.

“Deontay Wilder and I are the heavyweight world champions, and we were hoping to have this fight on April 13, but things didn’t go as planned, because of the boxing rules – I’m sure you’re aware of that. So we had to adapt and look for other options and Jarrell Miller arrived”, added.

After the fight against Miller, Joshua, in the event of a victory, would logically have to compete for the supremacy of the heavyweights against winner of the Duel between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.

These two contenders are expected to face each other by the end of the first half of 2019.

Reuters

PSG hands Man United first defeat under Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over as caretaker manager following the sacking of Jose Mourinho in December and United have secured 10 wins in 11 games under his charge.

Manchester United’s interim manager recorded his first defeat after the Red Devils were handed a 2 – 0 result against French giants, Paris Saint Germain, PSG, on Tuesday evening.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over as caretaker manager following the sacking of Jose Mourinho in December and United have secured 10 wins in 11 games under his charge, their latest victory a 3-0 win at Fulham on Saturday.

The Parisians despite playing away from home scored twice in the second half of the Champions League round-of-16 fixture at Old Trafford.

The goals came through Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe, a result that all but secured PSG’s progress into the quarter-finals of the competition. The game was Solskjaer’s first outing in Europe since taking charge.

Solskjaer had said on Monday that the time was perfect for his side to face PSG: “Of course we’re going to play against some top teams the next few games but now it’s just the focus on this one.

“It’s always been like that, you have to think about the next one and that’s been one of the big pluses that the players have been focused on, the next task all the time. We don’t look too far ahead because then you lose your focus, so I’m looking forward to this,” he added before the game.

The French Champions were without Brazilian star Neymar Junior, Edinson Cavani, and Thomas Meunier – all of them are likely to be available for the return leg whiles United will be without Paul Pogba who was sent off late in the game for a second bookable offence.

CAF reinstates Ismaili after ban [Football Planet]

We now know the representatives of Africa at the next World Cup for under-20s. There will be four of them, the four best in the African Cup of Nations in the category whose semi-finals are being playe

We now know the representatives of Africa at the next World Cup for under-20s. There will be four of them, the four best in the African Cup of Nations in the category whose semi-finals are being played on Wednesday. And it will be without the host country, Niger.

Huge controversy at the CAF Champions League. Almost three weeks after her exclusion by CAF, Ismaily will return to the tournament. The Egyptian club therefore won their appeal, which further disrupts Group C, which will begin the return phase with TP Mazembe’s deadly trip to Club Africain in Tunisia.

Excitement touching roof levels in UEFA Champions League and the clash between Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain sets the pace. A Parisian team that will have to do without Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Thomas Meunier for the trip to Old Trafford. Parisian coach Thomas Tuchel will have to find solutions

CAF reinstates Ismaily after ban [Football Planet]

We now know the representatives of Africa at the next World Cup for under-20s. There will be four of them, the four best in the African Cup of Nations in the category whose semi-finals are being playe

We now know the representatives of Africa at the next World Cup for under-20s. There will be four of them, the four best in the African Cup of Nations in the category whose semi-finals are being played on Wednesday. And it will be without the host country Niger.

Huge controversy at the CAF Champions League. Almost three weeks after her exclusion by CAF, Ismaily will return to the tournament. The Egyptian club therefore won their appeal, which further disrupts Group C, which will begin the return phase with TP Mazembe’s deadly trip to Club Africain in Tunisia.

Excitement touching roof levels in UEFA Champions League and the clash between Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain sets the pace. A Parisian team that will have to do without Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Thomas Meunier for the trip to Old Trafford. Parisian coach Thomas Tuchel will have to find solutions.

Nantes hold emotional tribute to Sala

Sala, had agreed to join Welsh Premier league club Cardiff for a club-record fee of 15 million pounds or $ 19.63 million dollars from Nantes.

An emotional tribute to Emiliano Sala before a match by Ligue 1 sides Nantes and Nimes on Sunday.

Nantes, where Sala spent four seasons, wore black shirts with the name ‘’ Sala’‘ printed to the back.

Fans also held up the number 9 in memory of the Argentine.

Players and coaching staff members from both sides joined the Nantes fans in applauding and cheering in memory of Sala. He died in a plane crash.

The 28 year old was en route from Nantes in Western France on January 21 to make his debut for Cardiff when the plane he was travelling in disappeared over the English Channel.

The wreckage was found on Sunday February 3 following a privately-funded underwater search.

Sala, had agreed to join Welsh Premier league club Cardiff for a club-record fee of 15 million pounds or $ 19.63 million dollars from Nantes.

He and the pilot, David Ibbotson, are believed to have died as the single-engined Piper Malibu aircraft crashed into the sea.

Reuters