Liberia: Who’s Telling The Truth, Jebor Or LFA?

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Monrovia – Liberian Striker William Jebor has told our Sports Desk that he was misinterpreted by the LFA about his decision not to travel with the national team to Chad for the returned leg.

Following Liberia’s 1-0 victory over Chad on Wednesday, October 9, in the 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifier Striker Jebor future with Lone Star seems to be unsettled.

The football association’s Communications Director Danesius Marteh informed Liberians via social media that the 12-goal striker in 17 matches for Liberia, did not make the trip to Chad for the returned leg on Sunday, October 13.

 According to the LFA spokesman, Jebor informed the FA after Wednesday’s game that he has no interest in playing for Liberia anymore on grounds of lack of respect for him.

Jebor started the game from the bench as Coach Peter Butler maintained his frontline that had defeated Sierra Leone early September of 2019. The attacker was introduced in the second half for Terence Tisdell.

Marteh wrote, “Striker William Jebor says he no longer wants to play for Liberia.”

 “Jebor says Coach Peter Butler disrespected him by using him from the bench.”

“He has declined to honor the returned leg away to Chad and has asked the Liberia Football Association (LFA) to secure a flight to his club in the United Arab Emirates.” 

LFA President Mustapha Raji and Executive Committee member Henry Boyd Flomo held a meeting with Jebor at the team’s RLJ Hotel over his decision after the game but couldn’t reach a common ground.

‘Coach Butler said he will comment on Jebor’s decision at the appropriate time.”

The team departed the country early Thursday, October 10, on board ASKY Airlines for Accra, Ghana; Lome, Togo before heading to N’Djamena, Chad without Jebor.

Speaking to FrontPageAfrica, LFA president Mustapha Raji said he spent over two hours trying to convince the striker to reconsider his decision.

According to him, Jebor complained that as captain of the team under Thomas Kojo, he was never consulted by the current technical staff of the team and did not say to him if he remains the captain or was to start the game from the bench.

J. Byrant McGill of the Ministry of Youth and Sports confirmed to our Sports Desk that he along with Raji and Kareem Jebor, the eldest brother of Jebor, could not convince William during their hours of conversations.

According to Byrant, he even called   Kelvin Sebwe to talk to the striker but he refused to listen to the former Liberian veteran midfielder.

Before the game, Jebor was nowhere to be seen when the team came out to inspect the pitch and even delayed coming out for the warmup as he stayed 10 minutes in the dressing room before he finally appeared on the pitch with his teammates but looked unhappy.

Butler in his first game in charge of Lone Star invited Jebor but the striker turned down the call-up because he was settling his contract with his new and old clubs prompting the coach to entrust Sam Johnson with the armband for the two matches.

It is still not clear if Johnson is the permanent captain of the team or Jebor.

Responding to the LFA’s post, Jebor said his decision to withdraw from the team that traveled to Chad was misinterpreted by the LFA.

In his post, the striker said he was ill and could not make the trip and never said he will not play for the Red, White and Blue-jersey team again. 

Jebor posted on his official facebook page: “Sorry guys, will not be traveling because I ‘m feeling ill. Hope next time; I wish you well, God bless Liberia.”

Speaking to FrontPageAfrica via mobile phone, Jebor said he is frustrated in the LFA’s decision to say he has withdrawn from the team because of disrespect.

“I said I was not feeling too okay in myself and I asked to be excused and the LFA president said I should state my reason and I said I was not well he asked me if I had problem with the coach, I told him no.”

“I am just surprised for the LFA to publish such statement about me. I have no problem with the LFA or coaching staff.”

According to him, the only reason he is returning to his team is because he is not feeling good, which is not good for the team because his presence with the team will not be useful to the team away from home.

“Liberia is my country. I am a Kru man when I come to play. If you see me playing for Liberia, I don’t joke. It is a job so I feel good playing for Mama Liberia because the people enjoy it,” Jebor told our reporter

He admitted that some things had happen that he was not satisfied about but it does not change the fact that he is a Liberian.

“My frustration is the LFA coming in the public to say things I did not say. Did I insult them? There have been times that things happen with players and the national team. We discuss those issues in house. he do not come out to say the LFA is not doing this or that”

 In his words whenever he is in the right position and is called up by the national team he will come to represent Liberia noting that he has not retired from the national team.

He disclosed that his return ticket back to UAE is been worked out by the LFA and may be leaving early Friday morning.

“Currently, I am here at the hotel. Before I went to walk around a little bit today, I even called the LFA president to ask him that I wanted to go and get something outside and he gave me the permission. I am on national duty so even if the team is not here, I was sent for by the LFA and is under the control of the LFA so I remain here for security reason because if anything happens to me, they will be responsible,” he told this newspaper.

Commenting on his absence during the team’s inspection of the pitch, Jebor said he stayed in the dressing room to concentrate which he normally does according to him and this helps puts him in a right mindset for game.

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