Pres. Weah Proposes Monthly Salary for Lone Star Players
A day after the Lone Star of Liberia defeated the Warriors of Zimbabwe 1-0 to secure second spot in group G of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, President George Weah has recommended that players of the national team be added on Government’s payroll.
According to the Liberian leader, if players are placed on payroll it will motivate them to do more for the national team.Speaking at an appreciation lunch on Monday, November 19, 2018 for players and technical staff of the national team for their crucial 1-0 victory over Zimbabwe, Pres. Weah, a former footballer, said it is time to consider the sacrifices players make for the country by rewarding them.
The former Liberian international who spent over 20 years playing for the national team of Liberia added that during his early days on the national team, he and his teammates were paid for their contribution to the national team and believed the current players should benefit from similar gesture.
“From 1986 to 2002 I played for the national team, my first year I was on a salary of US$123.33 so I was one of the players that used to take pay. It was very small but the fact we were on payroll it encouraged us to kill ourselves everyday for our nation; so then, you judge from my conclusion we can motivate our team to do better.”
“National team players are not being paid for the struggle the players give for the nation, but in the labor force everybody wants increase or they want something, so let us think about making this labor force also be on our payroll,” said President to the players and other top government and Liberia Football Association officials.
President Weah who won the World Player of the year in 1995 said his administration is committed to investing in football for the next six years.
Committing on Lone Star’s victory over the Warriors of Zimbabwe, the former football star now politician described the match as a very tough game but asserted that a “great team wins in tough times”.
President Weah who as a players qualified Liberia to two Africa Cup of Nations said even though a draw away to DR Congo may qualify Liberia for the nations cup, it will take skillful players on team Lone Star to do wonders away from home.
“I must congratulate the players and coaches but it is not over yet, this team is capable to go to DRC and win,” he said.
President Weah’s statement of including national team players on Government payroll seems to be good sign for football in the country but many Liberians are wondering how it will be implemented. Players of the national team are not regular government employees. Their inclusion on the team is based on performance at their various clubs from which they are called to the national team.
Speaking to reporters Youth and Sports Minister D. Zeogar Wilson welcomed the proposal of the President.
“It is a good thing it makes the players to be competitive because if you are national team players, you want to be on that salary you have to perform because if you don’t perform you will be dropped from the team.”
“I am happy that the President who was a beneficiary can say this today it was part of my plan to the president,” Minister Wilson said.
The former Mighty Barrolle goalkeeper said he is optimistic of the national team reaching the final of the Nations Cup in Cameroon.
He added that the team will be given all the necessary support to come out victorious against the Democratic Republic of Congo in March of 2019.