Liberia: “I PLAYED NO PART IN KEITA’S SELECTION AS LONE STAR COACH” – SENATOR SOGBIE
MONROVIA – Former Liberia international Jonathan ‘Boy Charles’ Sogbie, now Senator of River-Gee County, has distanced himself from the appointment of Ansu Keita as Lone Star coach.
Boy Charles is a member of the famous George Weah 11. He was part of Lone Star squad that made Liberia’s first Nations Cup appearance in South Africa 1996.
The River-Gee County Senator began his illustrious football career with IE in the 80s. The forward later played for ASEC Mimosas in neighboring Ivory Coast and several other clubs in Europe, USA and China.
“I didn’t form part of any decision or whatever. What I do know is I was added to a group chat that is vetting coaches for Lone Star. I couldn’t take part because I suspected several conflicting issues. Please speak to Marbue Richards or Romeo David,” Senator Sogbie said.
The vetting committee chairman, Ivan Brown could neither deny nor confirm reports that Ansu Keita has been awarded a two-year contract to coach Lone Star with a monthly salary of US$5000.
A communication dated December 29, supposedly from Ansumana Keita to chairman Ivan Brown reads: “I have agreed to the mandate and proposal of the overall US$6000, as salary including benefits without tax. Please note that the gasoline and scratch cards provided are for my daily routines. In the event I have to travel outside of the capital on official duties, the LFA is requested to provide transportation mean or gasoline and data for the purpose of the trip. I also agreed to the one round trip ticket”.
Keita’s two-year contract is worth approximately150, 000 United States dollar.
The benefits include, US$500 monthly for feeding allowance, US$100 for laundry, US$150 for internet package, US$200 for gasoline, US$50 for car washing, one round trip ticket per year for (economic class) for Coach Keita to visit his family in Canada, travel allowance every time Lone Star plays an away match (to be determined by GOL) and a win bonus of US$1,500.
The contract mandate, in other word, Coach Keita’s TOR is to qualify Liberia for the 2023 Nations Cup in Ivory Coast – Develop a local based national team to qualify for the next CHAN final tournament and Qualify Lone Star for the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations.
Brown, who is also an executive committee member at LFA said, he’s not clothed with the authority to speak for neither the LFA nor the government, but rather, he encouraged LIB 24 to contact the Liberia Football Association and the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
Keita coaching credential has been an issue of debate since he was contracted by LFA in February 2021 to coach Liberia’s Under-17 team.
It’s understood that Coach Keita has UEFA “B” Coaching License, as per his credential submitted to the vetting committee.
A member of the committee, Paul Romeo David said background-check was carried out to validate information provided to the committee by the coaches interviewed.
But he felt short to say whether the committee’s background-check established that Keita obtained a UEFA “B” Coaching License from England in 2010.
Liberia’s Under-17 coach reportedly hand-pick his backroom staff. The Assistant Coach, Goalkeeper Trainer and Physical Trainer will earn US$84,000 over the two years, as salary.
Deputy Coach Cooper Sannoh will receive US$2000 as monthly salary, while Goalkeeper Trainer Nathaniel Sherman and Physical Trainer George Gebro get US750 each, as monthly salary.
Keita’s selection as Lone Star coach comes in the wake of ongoing investigation by both, the Liberian government and the Liberia Football Association on Liberia’s Under-17 shameful disqualification for age-cheating.
As coach of the U-17 that travelled to Mauritania for the WAFU tournament, the Canada based Liberian is presumed to be a person of interest.
The government and LFA are yet to make their findings public; even though, the 60 days period given to the committee setup by the Ministry of Youth and Sports elapsed over a month ago.
Some members of the Lone Star coach vetting committee are, former FIFA batch referee Jerry Yekeh, Liberia international Anthony Laffor, and former Lone Star players Anthony Tokpa and Frank Jerico Nagbe.
Others are, Roseline Konneh – Mighty Barrolle Vice President for Operation and wife of LFA First Vice President Sekou Konneh, Mwalimu-koh Jackson, one Osoro, who is serving as co-chair and an individual only identify as Henriet in the group chat.