7th September, 2012
The Lone Star of Liberia got a major boost ahead of Saturday’s much anticipated South Africa 2013 Nations Cup qualifier against the Super Eagles of Nigeria, with their President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf calling on the team to beat Nigeria.
To ensure that the players are motivated for the crucial cracker, Sirleaf, who is the Chief Patron of Sports in Liberia, has not only promised a game bonus of $150,000 for a win in the match that would be played at the Samuel Kanyon Doe National Stadium, Monrovia, she also changed the code name of their campaign from ‘Operation Crush Nigeria’, to ‘Operation qualify Liberia for South Africa 2013’.
To show the importance of the match, the Liberian president, in a radio broadcast to the country yesterday, commended the team for a recent friendly win against Malawi on Tuesday but said the real victory she needs is the one that will unfold tomorrow against the highly rated Nigerian team.
“I want to welcome all of our fellow countrymen who have come from overseas to lift the colour of the nation on the pitch, we wish all of you success as you go all out in defence of the state,” the President said in her broadcast.
The Liberian leader urged all Liberians across the country to put on their Red, White and Blue to participate in the game by cheering the team to victory.
“All of you that will not come to see the team because you are far away in other parts of the country, I ask that you tune in to the radio to continuously support the team throughout the 90 minutes. And for you the playing team, we want victory from you and you get a reward from all Liberians, especially a game bonus of $150, 000,” the Liberian leader concluded in her two minutes radio message.
Meanwhile, skipper of the Super Eagles and Fenerbache of Turkey defender, Joseph Yobo has said that the players would spill blood to ensure that they qualify for the next edition of the Nations Cup after missing out from the last edition.
The former Everton of England player said the visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to the team’s training ahead of the tie would serve as a morale booster to them.
According to him “We are privileged to have had the rare opportunity of meeting the President and I must specially thank him for the visit and also assure him of the seriousness of the entire squad to excel in not only the qualifiers for the Nations Cup, but those of the World Cup and any tournament that we will enter for.”