Monrovia – James Salinsa Debbah will quit as head coach of Liberia after Togo’s match in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) on June 3 in Monrovia.
Writing on his facebook page on Wednesday night, Debbah said: “I am disappointed. My thanks and appreciation to Mr. Musa H. Bility for the confidence he bestowed upon me when he appointed me as head coach of the Lone Star.
“I am grateful! My appreciation also [goes] to the fans and Liberians in the Diaspora and last but not the least, I cherished the love, respect and admiration that I shared with my players.”
Debbah was appointed by Liberia Football Association (LFA) President Musa Hassan Bility at a live news conference in November 2014 along with former players of the famous George Weah IX, who were given different portfolios.
Kelvin Sebwe was named as Debbah’s deputy and head coach of the female national team. Varmah Kpoto took over as head coach of the Under-14 and Jonah Sarweah became his deputy coach.
Joe Nagbe was appointed as head coach of the Under-17 with George Gebro as deputy coach. Christopher Wreh took over as head coach of the under-20 while Oliver Makor became deputy coach. Thomas Kojo returned to his role as head coach of the under-23 and Janjay Jacobs as deputy coach.
Before his appointment, Debbah was a consistent critic of Bility’s poor handling of the LFA and flagged his administrative ineptitude and financial malfeasance on social media.
But it appears, Debbah is tired of wining and dining with Bility, whom he once described as a “novice to football”, and their nearly two years’ marriage of convenience at worst and romance at best is heading for the Civil Law Court of Public Opinions.
“During my career as a professional athlete, I was groomed and nurtured under professional arrangement and as such I envisioned a professional working environment but that has not been the condition.
“Our upcoming game against Togo (June 5th) will be my last game as coach of the senior national team… ‘I will resign’! I will, in due time, publish the reason behind my resignation,” Debbah concluded his post.
Liberia lead Group A with nine points and need at least four points from their matches with Togo and Tunisia in September to qualify for their first Africa Cup of Nations finals since Mali 2002.
Debbah’s imminent resignation will surely derail the morale among the players and the preparation for Togo’s match but the ‘Miracle Man’ doesn’t think so.
“No, I don’t think so. The first thing [is my resignation] has to do with me and whoever that it concerns,” Debbah told our reporter in a minute interview.
Debbah was asked why he didn’t wait for the mandatory pre-match or post-match news conference to announce his resignation.
“I don’t want to elaborate on that. Thanks for the concerns but I really don’t want to talk about that,” said Debbah as he unceremoniously hanged-off.
Our Sports Reporter made frantic effort to speak to Bility but he could neither pick his calls nor return the calls.
This could all be related to the indefinite ban placed on our reporter by Bility from covering all football-related activities for publicly ‘criticizing Weah’, who is now the subject of a child abandonment case in Georgia, the United States of America as was filed by Meapeh Kou Gono Glay, the mother of his 10-year-old daughter.
Debbah is, however, leaving no stone unturned as he has formally recalled Francis Doe.
Doe last played for Liberia in a 1-1 draw with Guinea Bissau in a 2018 World Cup qualifier at the ATS on October 8, 2015 despite a training ground burst-up with Barbu Kollie of Nimba United and Debbah respectively.
“All hands on deck. I am going to call-up all our best players. Grandpa Doe included! He has sincerely apologized to his team-mates as well as every member of the technical staff including me, and most importantly, the Liberian people who has facilitated the progress of the national team (Lone Star) by paying their taxes,” Debbah posted on Facebook recently.
Danesius Marteh, email@example.com