Monrovia – Liberia will take on Togo in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) on June 5.
Head coach James Salinsa Debbah named a 25-man squad, including 19-foreign-based players.
But who will wear the #10 jersey with the recall of Sekou Jabateh-Oliseh and top scorer William Jerbo?
When Togo beat Liberia 2-1 in a 2017 Afcon qualifier at the Stade de Kégué in Lome on June 14, 2015, Zah Rahan Krangar captained the team and wore the #10 jersey while Jerbo, who scored a 30-yard thunderbolt on 43 minutes, wore the #9 shirt.
Jabateh-Oliseh, who didn’t travel to Lome, has been wearing the famous number worn by James Salinsa Debbah since he made his debut in a 2012 Afcon qualifier against Zimbabwe on September 5, 2010.
When Liberia beat Tunisia 1-0 in a 2017 Afcon qualifier at the ATS in Monrovia, Jabateh-Oliseh paraded the #10 shirt on the bench and even warmed-up after half time but Oscar Murvee Dorley was preferred by Debbah.
Jerbo, who played the entire match, again wore the #9 shirt while Teah Dennis captained the team.
Both Jerbo and Jabateh-Oliseh were absent when Liberia beat Djibouti 1-0 in a 2017 Afcon qualifier at the Stade du Ville in Djibouti City on March 24 as Kranger wore the #10 jersey while Dioh Williams wore the #9 shirt.
When Liberia beat Djibouti 5-0 in the return leg, Jerbo, who scored a hat-trick in the 46th, 56th and 90th minutes, wore the #10 jersey while Williams wore the #9 shirt and Kranger wore the #13 shirt.
Addressing a news conference on May 30, Liberia Football Association (LFA) President Musa Bility said 10 players are in Monrovia but Bility didn’t disclose their names.
LFA communications consultant Horatio Bobby couldn’t speak to our sports editor on grounds that he’s serving an indefinite ban imposed by the LFA but Willie did speak with him on May 26.
Jabateh Oliseh arrived on May 25 but if a travel itinerary released by the LFA on May 29 is anything to go by, then Kpah Sherman of Santos FC in South Africa, captain Dennis of Al- Ahli in Jordan, Krangar of Felda United in Malaysia, Jebor of SD Ponferradina in Spain and Emile Damey of Nunnawading FC in Australia arrived between May 28-29.
Theo Weeks of Ermis Aradippou in Cyprus, Gizzie Dorbor of Hapoel Afula in Israel, Francis Grandpa Doe of Felda United in Malaysia and Solomon Grimes of Nea Salamina in Cyprus arrived on May 30.
The unattached Patrick Gerhardt, Williams of Gefle in Sweden and Alseny Kieta of Viry in France, are due in Monrovia on May 31.
Sam Johnson of Djurgarden in Sweden, Anthony Laffor of Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa, Dauda Bortu of Baerum SK in Norway, Dirkir Glay of Persiba Balikpanpan in Indonesia and Seku Conneh of Bethlehem Steel in the United States of America are expected in Monrovia on June 1.
Meanwhile, Liberia Football Association (LFA) President Musa Hassan Bility has announced that everything is on course for Sunday’s clash with Togo in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match in Group A.
Addressing a news conference on Monday, Bility said majority of the players have arrived and goalkeeper Tommy Songo’s, who was suffering from injury is ready for the game.
“I want to take this time to assure the Liberian people that our national football team is on course.
This game is very crucial to us and we have put in everything needed to make sure the team is in good gear for the fight against the visitors,” said Bility.
He said the government, through chief patron of sports President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has paid 60-percent of the money needed to prepare the team.
“We always receive from the government the amount requested for and we are very grateful to President Sirleaf for the support her government has continued to give to the national team of Liberia.
“We want to say here from the depth of our heart our sincere thanks to our lovely sponsor Cellcom GSM for her continue support to our national football team,” added Bility.
He didn’t disclose the amount but FrontPageAfrica has reliably learnt that government provided US$187,600 for the match.
During the home and away matches with Djibouti, government also provided US$318,000.
Bility thanked Gedeh County Representative Zoe Emmanuel Pennue, who is the mobilization committee interim chairman, for the hard work done thus far.
He confirmed that tickets for the game will be sold on June 4 and June 5 at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) in Monrovia.
Liberia leads the group with nine points and need a win against Togo plus at least a draw away to Tunisia in September to be assured of qualification.