Monrovia - Assistant sports minister Murvee Gray is delighted with the smooth organization and execution of the Gray pleased with the collaboration among organizers, security and fans.
Speaking to FrontPageAfrica newspaper at the Sports Commission on December 23, Gray said the tournament has largely passed on without any crowd disturbance.
He praised the Liberia National Police (LNP) for professionally handling the huge turnouts at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) where the quarter-finals in kickball and football are being played.
“This is what we want from sports lovers, that our games should be freed from violence be it local, international or community leagues.
In sports, there is a winner, loser or the match ends in a draw. In the end, we are all winners,” Gray said as Sinoe took on Grand Bassa in basketball.
Before the start of the matches in Monrovia, Gray assured the public of tight security.
According to him, the LNP and national security institutions will be responsible to prevent overcrowdedness at the ATS.
Gray praised the LNP for the level of cooperation and called on spectators to always purchase their tickets at designated points to avoid embarrassment.
He said the ATS is very small unlike the Samuel Kanyon Doe sports complex, which can take about 35,000 persons.
“The capacity of the stadium is about 8,000. We will not exceed this number and as such we are urging those who want to watch the games to buy their tickets before coming at the gates, because there will be thorough checks.
Those who can’t afford to come must stay home and listen to radio,” Gray told Insight newspaper on December 19.
According to Gray, the county meet has, in time past, breached barriers among tribal groups.
“The county meet has, over the years, played a key role in the development of our country. It has continually provided skills such as leadership and discipline for our young people.
It also teaches code principles like tolerance and teamwork. These positive tools have been the elements of peace and development,” Gray added.
He commended President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for her continuous support to sports.
According to Gray, there was no budget for sports prior to her ascendency but she has continually ensured that sports be captured in the national budget.
He also congratulated the legislature, especially the southeastern legislative caucus for their support to the successful hosting of the preliminary rounds.
“We also want to say thank you to Ambassador Joseph Boakai and the National Legislature for their support as well as our superintendents and county coordinators, including the Liberian people,” Gray concluded.
The quarter-finalists were divided into two groups for the first time and Gray said the intent is to allow the athletes to showcase their talents and as well give chance to club teams in the country to scout players.