Liberia: Delaying in Obtaining Travel Certificate from Foreign Affairs Delay Lone Star at RIA

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Monrovia — The senior national football team of Liberia departure from Liberia to Turkey was delayed for over four hours at the Robert International Airport on Monday, March 20,2022.

The national team’s delegation waited for hours at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) due to the unavailability of laissez-passer for the technical staff, players, and officials of the team by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Due to the over four hours delay the 19-man delegation missed its first flight on Monday and had to arrange for another flight to take the team to Ghana.

The team was earlier to board Air Cote d’Ivoire but missed the fight because their traveling documents were not ready.

After several efforts by the president of the Liberia Football Association (LFA), Mustapha I. Raji, Deputy Minister for Sports, G Andy Quamie and LFA Executive Committee (EC) member, Pawala Janyan the team’s delegation left for Turkey to honor their three international friendlies.

Kenyan Airway was arranged to take the delegation to Ghana for a night before their final destination to Turkey.

The local players and technical staff members’ passports, according to the report, were in Ghana with the Administrative Manager Sabastine Collins who obtained Turkish Visas for the entire delegation.

The Lone Star is expected to play Benin on March 24, and take on Sierra Leone on March 27 and conclude with a clash with Burundi on March 29.

The matches are being arranged to get the senior national team active during the international break which runs from March 24-31.

Co-opted LFA executive committee member Joseph Kollie is the head of the delegation which  includes Kangar Tarr, III, of the Ministry of Youth & Sports, head coach Peter Butler, deputy coaches Christopher Wreh and Thomas Kojo; goalkeeping coach Nathaniel Sherman, physical trainer George Gebro, team’s doctor Torsou Jallabah, physiotherapist Boakai Abu Kamara, equipment manager Tommy Johnson and sports journalist Trojan Molley Kiazolu of Spoon Network.

The players include Sampson Dweh, Derrick Julu, Emmanuel Reyah, Divine Roosevelt Teah, Junior Yeanaye, Frank Allison, Allenton Sembeh and Prince Zawoh.  

They will be joined on arrival in Accra by administrative manager Sebastian Collins, who flew to Ghana on 18 March to secure Turkish visas. 

Butler invited 23 players for three friendlies, including Italy-based Mohamed Cherif Diallo, Yeanay, Sembeh, Allison, Reyah, Teah and Zawoh, who will be hoping to make their debuts.

Teah was an unused substitute when Liberia lost 2-0 to Egypt in an international friendly at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria on 30 September 2021.

There is a return for United States-based Joel Johnson and England-based Mohammed Sangare, who were injured on international and club duties.

Defender Johnson last featured for Liberia in a 1-0 defeat to Sierra Leone in the first round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers at the Siaka Stevens Stadium in Freetown on 8 September 2019.

Sangare last appeared for Liberia in a 1-0 defeat to Chad in a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Stade Omnisports Idriss Mahamat Ouya in N’Djamena on 13 October 2019.

Liberia will take on Benin on 24 March, Sierra Leone on 27 March and Burundi on 29 March.

Full squad

Goalkeepers: Allenton Sembeh (Bea Mountain), Junior Yeanay (Nimba Kwado) and Derrick Julu (Watanga FC)

Defenders: Jamal Arago (Sabail, Azerbaijan), Mark Pabai (SPAL, Italy), Prince Balde (Drita, Kosovo), Sampson Dweh (LPRC Oilers), Joel Johnson (Hartford Athletic, United States of America) and Emmanuel Reyah (Muscat FC)

Midfielders: Abrahim Mohammed Soumaoro (PAEEK FC, Cyprus), Moussa Sanoh (Mioveni, Romania), Seth Kanteh Hellberg (IK Brage, Sweden), Oscar Murphy Dorley (Slavia Prague, Czech Republic), Allen Njie (FC Aarau, Switzerland), Mohammed Sangare (Newcastle United under-23, England) and Frank Allison (Freeport FC)

Forwards: Justin Paul Salmon (Degerfors IF, Sweden), Mohamed Cherif Diallo (Derthona, Italy), Kpah Sherman (Terengganu, Malaysia), Peter Wilson (Olympiakos Nicosia, Cyprus), Ayouba Kosiah (NAC Breda, Netherlands), Divine Roosevelt Teah (Nimba FC) and Prince Zawoh (Nimba United)

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