President Sirleaf Presents Liberia Football Association US$75,000 as Victory Bonus for Lone Star; Calls for Efforts to Fight Malaria through Football

Monday, 30th November -0001

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia’s Chief Patron of Sports, on Wednesday presented the Liberia Football Association with a check of US$75,000, as a bonus for the Lone Star Team’s recent winning performance.

According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf pledged government’s full support to the national team in its pre- and post-qualification games leading up to the 2013 African Cup of Nations tournament to be held in South Africa.

The President told sports authorities that she was pleased with the performance of the national team and said there was a need to provide support to the national unifier. She demonstrated that commitment with the presentation of a symbolic check for US$75,000.

President Sirleaf also called for a more structured and systematic support to the team, not only during games but after and with a long-term strategy. “It is time to support our national team, and we are going to work with the Ministries of Finance, Youth and Sports and the Liberia Football Association to realize this goal,” the President stated.

The President spoke Wednesday evening, in the foyer of the Foreign Ministry, when she hosted players of the national team to show appreciation for their winning of the Presidential Friendly Cup, held in her honor the previous evening, against the Black Stars of Ghana.

The game served as a test match for Liberia’s second-leg qualifier match against the Super Eagles of Nigeria in October,  after a 2-2 draw in Monrovia last Saturday.

Meanwhile, President Sirleaf used Tuesday’s friendly international match to launch the United Against Malaria Initiative in Liberia, hoping that Liberia will unite the power of football with health initiatives to raise public awareness about malaria prevention.

The President mentioned the importance of sleeping under treated bed nets, getting tested for malaria before treatment, and encouraging pregnant women to regularly take malaria treatment as some of the tips for malaria prevention.

“When we all fight malaria together, we build a stronger nation and communities; we ease the burden of malaria on our health system, which frees up resources for schools, roads and other priorities. Most importantly, we save lives,” the President said.

The President underscored the urgent need for dedicated players, on and off the field, to use a winning strategy to stop this preventable and treatable disease.

The Liberian leader was presented a symbolic Golden Boot by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in appreciation of her commitment in the fight against malaria.