This past Tuesday marked a year of George Opong Weah in Liberia’s presidency. It is imperative that we dedicate this write up to the only native African player ever to be named FIFA World Player of the Year. A man described by FIFA as “the precursor of the multi-functional strikers of today” and was in 2004, included by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players. Many people of this generation may not have witnessed this rare talent that came from Africa to dominate world football, however, the aroma of his skill, athleticism and goal coring prowess are still savoured and longed for till date.
Beginning his football career at the age of 15 playing for Young Survivors youth club, Weah, after a brief stint as switchboard technician for Liberia Telecommunications Corporation, took his football career abroad. Abroad, Weah first played for Cameroonian club Tonnerre Yaoundé. It was here that his abilities were first discovered by the then Cameroon national team coach, Claude Le Roy, who recommended him to Arsene Wenger, who was the manager of Monaco and happened to fly into Cameroon to complete Weah’s signing.
The role played by Arsene Wenger for George Weah cannot be understated; little wonder Weah has always dedicated his life achievements in football and beyond to Wenger. It was under Wenger that the hitherto raw talent became a force. Weah won the African Footballer of the Year for the first time in 1989; his first major award which he took back home for the entire country to celebrate. In 1991, he helped Monaco to win Coupe de France and reach the final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1992.
Weah later left Monaco for Paris Saint-Germain, a club he helped to win the Coupe de France in 1993 and 1995, the French league in 1994, and the Coupe de la Ligue in 1995. He also became the top scorer of the 1994–95 UEFA Champions League. Worthy to note is his skilful individual “wonder-goal” against Bayern Munich in the group stage. For all his exploits, he was rewarded with the African Footballer of the Year Award for the second time in his career in 1994.
His story cannot be completely and well-written without talking of his time at AC Milan, who were less successful in Europe around the time Weah joined. With AC Milan, Weah was able to win two Serie A titles and was notable for scoring goals, in particular a solo goal against Hellas Verona at the San Siro. In 1995, Weah received several individual awards: Ballon d’Or, the Onze d’Or, African Footballer of the Year and FIFA World Player of the Year, for performances at PSG and Milan. He was also named to the Onze de Onze by the French football magazine Onze Mondial. In 1996, he received FIFA Fair Play Award, and was voted the African Player of the Century by sport journalists from around the world.
Weah later left AC Milan first as a loanee to Chelsea, where he helped them win the FA Cup; at the end of it, he joined Manchester City. Following his time in England, Weah went back to France and had a spell at Marseille. He later played with Al-Jazira in the UAE Pro-League, where he remained until he retired in 2003, at age 37.
As an international, Weah represented Liberia but failed to lead them to World Cup, the most notable dent to his outstanding career.
Now retired, Weah, the football legend has gone on to create great record for himself by becoming the President of Liberia after initially serving as a senator for Montserrado County in the 2014 elections. The feat of becoming the president of his country was the first of its kind in the football world. Weah, known for breaking the bars, remains a source of encouragement for African footballers who came after him. If not for him, many African footballers may never think that with great efforts and concentration, impossibility can be made possible in the football world. Weah has done it, others can do it too, that is the message.By NenyeREPORT
GFA Disciplinary Committee dismiss two Kotoko officials
The Accra representatives of Kumasi Asante Kotoko were dismissed from the Disciplinary Committee hearing on Thursday when they accompanied their colleague Dr. Yaw Amo Sarpong.
Dr. Amo Sarpong was invited for hearing after it was confirmed that he pulled a gun and also fired a warning shot during the NC Special Cup match between Kotoko and Berekum FC at the Golden City Park in Berekum.
He was accompanied by the Communications Director for the club, Lawyer Sarfo Duku and the two Accra reps; Mr. Edmund Ackah and Nana Kwame Dankwa.
Mr. Edmund Ackah and Nana Kwame Dankwa were dismissed from the DC’s hearing panel on Thursday May, 17, 2019 after they had written their names on the attendance sheet, introduced themselves and also disclosed their purpose of being there.
The two men protested vehemently as they used the GFA’s regulations to affirm their presence at the sitting but the Committee led by Mr. Sampson Lardy would not back down on their stance.
Mr. Ackah and Nana Kwame had nothing to do than to leave for proceedings to continue.
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Kotoko sack Policy Analyst, Dr. Amo Sarpong
The Management of Kumasi Asante Kotoko has sacked Dr. Yaw Amo Sarpong from his position as the Policy Analyst for the club.
According to a source close to the Management of the club, Dr. Sarpong was given his dismissal letter on Friday morning.
The club is yet to make the sacking of the KNUST lecturer official any time soon.
He is alleged to have pulled a gun and fired a warning shot to scare off hooligans during Kotoko’s game against Berekum FC last two weeks at the Golden City park.
The Berekum born native sustained head injuries in the ensuing struggle after he was disarmed by the Police officials present at the stadium.
Dr. Sarpong was invited by the Disciplinary Committee of the Ghana Football Association give his side of the case on Thursday.
The Committee led by Mr. Sampson Lardy found him guilty and thus have suspended him from all football activities for six months.
He was accompanied by Lawyer Sarfo Duku, the head of communication for the club.
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Special Cup Committee to conduct investigations into bribery case involving Kotoko
A member of the Organising Committee for the Normalization Committee Special Cup,Augustine Arhinful has confirmed that his oufit will conduct investigations into the bribery case involving Kumasi Asante Kotoko.
Mr. Arhinful spoke on Fox FM in Kumasi on Friday morning concerning steps being taken by the Committee to address the recent happenings.
“I have alerted Samuel Osei Kuffour who is our chairman (of the Normalization Committee Organizing Committee) to tell Dr. Kofi Amoah (President of the NC) to invite all the people involved in alleged bribery allegations regarding the Ashgold vs Kotoko match for interrogation”, he told Fox FM.
Meanwhile, Asante Kotoko has denied attempting to influence referees in the ongoing Special Competition.
In a press statement, the club has distanced itself from the alleged act.
“The Executive Chairman and Management wish to state unequivocally that neither the Executive Chairman nor any official of the club has engaged in such act and neither has the said Sheshela been contracted to engage in the act for and on behalf of the club.
“The Executive Chairman and Management and Asante Kotoko Sporting Club have received with shock and dismay news circulating in the news circles of an alleged bribery scandal involving one Sheshela and being linked to the club,” it said.
Asante Kotoko have been named in a recent bribery scandal by Referee Robert Mensah involving one Kofi Oduro “Shilshila”.
Mr. Oduro who is known to be a staunch Kotoko supporter and close ally of Dr. Kwame Kyei, the Chief Executive Officer of the club is alleged to have bribed the referees with an amount of GHc8,000.
The agreement was to influence the outcome of the match against Obuasi Ashanti Gold FC in the NC Special Cup played at the Len Clay Stadium on Sunday, May 12, 2019.
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