MONROVIA – Liberia missed out for a place at the Qatar 2022 FIFA World after finishing third in Group C behind Nigeria and Cape Verde.
Liberia earned six point out of a possible 15 with back to back wins against the Central African Republic as the only victories the team recorded throughout the qualifiers.
It might have been a poor run for the Lone Star under Coach Peter James Butler in these qualification process but there are more things than technical that might have affected the team morale.
Yes it’s a fact that Liberia couldn’t see off a CAF banned of the Samuel Kayon Doe Sports Complex that failed to meet the standards prescribed by FIFA and the Confederation. This however saw the Lone Star moving to exile playing their homes game in; Cameroon, Ghana and Morocco respectively. It is not an excuse for losing because you can win from anywhere but the home support counts.
But the real crust is that Liberian players were among the least pay players per Match Appearance fees and game bonuses during the qualifiers. I am however taking case study with our Group winners Nigeria.
Each player at the level of the National Team were earning one thousand United States ($1,000.00 USD ) for appearance fees. Which means when you joined from where ever you come, you get one thousand for agreeing to play for Liberia in that match. This figure is Nine thousand dollars short of the eventual group winners Nigeria who paid an appearance fee of ten thousand United states dollars for its players.
Liberian players were also promised a game bonus of two thousand United States dollars ( $2,000.00 USD) if they win match in the qualifiers. This means the team needed to win a match for players to get at least three thousand United States dollars ( $3,000.00 USD). This amount is three thousand dollars short of the eventual group winners Nigeria who matches bonuses outside of other donations five thousand United States dollars ( $5,000.00 USD ).
With facts being Constant each Liberian players earned Nine thousand United States dollars ( $9,000.00 USD) for the entire qualifying rounds which includes; Appearance fees and bonuses. This means for the entire Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers, a Lone Star player could not even earned a one match appearance fee for a member of the Super Eagles Squad.
Each member of the Nigerian Team that finished first in Group C with 13 Points, seven points ahead of Liberia and four wins against Liberia’s two wins pocketed at least forty five thousand United States dollars ( $45,000.00 USD).
This speak to the fact that the team was motivated and they had to give the Nigerians the result they needed because they got what was needed “The tool to do the work” was on hand. But for Liberia we were short of that motivation.
A well place source in the team hinted me that even recently added players in the squad were not happy with their earnings playing for the National Team.
A long time player on the squad hinted me and begged not to be mention “ How we will win when we are not satisfy, for us to even get to the match venue is not easy, we get there two to three days, which is not enough to get us adjusted especially when we have new guys in the team”. He averred.
“We are giving our all for the Country and need to be encourage and well compensated, with that you can have bigger claims on our head or you can even chopped our heads off if we don’t give the needed need results” He explained.
In an attempt to confirm the figures the players are alleged to be receiving, I called up Deputy Sport Minister G. Andy Quamie via WhatsApp because he’s away from Liberia. The Minister couldn’t give a definite response but directed me to the Liberia Football Association which he said manage affairs of the Lone Star.
My fact finding to the Liberian FA confirmed that the players were receiving the figures mention above.
LFA Deputy Communication Manager Benjamin Garkpa confirmed that “ The players get one thousand United States dollars for appearance which is immediate and I think about two thousand dollars for winning bonuses, which I know was given when the team return to Liberia”.
This speaks exactly to the fact that Liberia problems were even more off the field then on the field. Our players were demotivated and lack encouragement from the government that is supposed to fun the national team.
For Instance a budget of thirty five Thousand United States dollars for the last two matches was slash by five thousand when we were no longer paying for venues to play our last Group matches against Nigeria and Central African Republic.
I can confirmed that the Liberia Football Association and the Morocco FA partnership save the Country over 30 thousand United dollars for venue rental. The last time Liberia paid Ghana 15 thousand dollars host Cape Verde in Accra outside paying security and others associated with the match.
This is a wakeup call for President George Weah that his dear Lone Star is struggling off the field. What is seen on the field during match days is just a product of the off the field struggles. He needs to wake up and make the Country competitive in the football world.