Monrovia — Ahead of the national football team of Liberia upcoming world cup qualifiers at home, the government of Liberia have approved the team’s budget for the double header encounters.
Liberia will host both Malawi and Equatorial Guinea on November 17th and 20th at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville City and the matches puts huge financial responsibility on the host nation as such the Liberia Football Association and the Ministry of Youth and Sports a month ago submitted a budget of $ 238,851.00 to the Ministry of Finance and Development planning.
According the LFA the amount will cover invited professional players airfares, appearance fee for all players, accommodations and feeding for both the home team and match officials, and other game related activities.
But after weeks of running after such payment an allotment of $200.000 was approved by the Ministry of Finance leaving the Football Association with no option to accept such amount and look for the balance as the Government has election matters to take care of.
It can be recalled that in October prior to the team’s departure for their final African Cup of nations qualifier with Morocco and a friendly with Libya the LFA fought to ensure the team participate in the games, as the government delayed payment for their matches.
Liberia was on the verge of receiving a ban from the Confederation of African Football and the Federation of International Football if they failed to honor the match due to delayed government fund disbursement for fixtures.
However, the LFA took responsibility to transport the team while they waited for the government to release their payment. According to FIFA and CAF, Liberia was facing a potential ban if they didn’t honor the match. Fortunately, at the last minute, the LFA stepped in to cover the team’s travel expenses while the check for payment was being prepared.
A total of $160,000 was required for the trip, covering air tickets, accommodation, meals, and match appearance fees for players and the technical staff. Sources close to both the LFA and Ministry of Youth and Sports disclosed that despite significant financial issues in the government, a budget of $160,663 was approved by the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the national team.
Liberia faced the risk of an international football ban if they failed to honor the match, but a statement from the LFA confirmed that the team arrived safely in Casablanca Morocco, on Wednesday, October 11, 2023.
Lone Star however lost both matches 3-2 and 3-0 to Libya and Morocco a result that head coach Ansu Keita believed was not bad as his team give a good account of themselves.
The matches were used to prepared the team for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers a competition Liberia has never qualified for.
If Liberia will have to challenge for the place at the 2026 World cup than Keita and team will need to secure six points from his two matches at home.
Many Liberians believed Lone Star chances of the reaching the world will be determine from their first two matches at home.