President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said she is quite honored and described as an unexpected pride the decision by the West African Football Union (WAFU) Congress to name the regional tournament in her honor; adding it is not for an honor bestowed on me but a recognition of the LFA’s leadership, the country and football enthusiasts. According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf was speaking in Monrovia over the weekend when a high-powered delegation led by LFA President, Mr. Musa Hassan Bility formally presented an official communication on the decision of the WAFU just ended Congress held in Dakar, Senegal – conferring the WAFU Tournament in honor of the Liberian leader.President Sirleaf termed the decision as a rallying cause for Liberia to reach out to the private sector and development partners with a view to using it to Liberia’s advantage towards the development of the skills, talents and sports infrastructure. She said despite challenges faced by the national team amid some success, it was encouraging that Liberian-based Club teams were out there trying to compete.She lauded LFA President, Musa Bility and the entire leadership of the Football Association and pledged her administration’s support in working with her colleagues in the sub-region to ensure a successful tournament. Earlier, LFA President Musa Bility said he was pleased to inform President Sirleaf of the decision emanating from the WAFU Congress held in Dakar, Senegal – thus unanimously naming the regional tournament in the Liberian Chief Executive’s honor. The LFA boss said WAFU Secretariat anchored its determination in favor of President Sirleaf based on her leadership at the national, regional and global stage. Mr. Bility said applications from both Nigeria and Togo posed no challenge to the Congress’ unanimous action in favor of Liberia. The tournament commences October 29, which coincides with President Sirleaf’s 76th birthday. According to the FA President, the WAFU tournament has over the last 15 years not been named in honor of any particular distinguished personality; noting the late Togolese President, Gnassingbe Eyadema was last regional leader in whose honor the tournament was named. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The ex-Chelsea player believes his club captain deserves respect rather than the scrutiny and scorn of late 1 Juan Mata believes Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney deserves respect rather than the scrutiny and scorn of late.The 30-year-old has enjoyed a record-breaking start to the season, but becoming England’s all-time top scorer has not failed to take attention away from a clutch of underwhelming displays.Rooney has netted just two Barclays Premier League goals this term, leading to questions about his starting role for club and country – talk that surprises Mata, whose Spain side welcome the Three Lions for a glamour friendly on Friday.“When we speak about Wayne we’re speaking about the captain of England and my team Manchester United,” the midfielder said.“He’s a very important player. He’s scored more goals than anyone in the English national team and at United.“I know he can play in different positions. At the end it’s Roy Hodgson or Louis van Gaal who decides, but obviously if he’s close to the box he will score more.“I feel very proud to play alongside him in my team and it will be very difficult to face him tomorrow.”Spain will not face Rooney from the outset on Friday, though, after Roy Hodgson revealed his plan to experiment with the England line-up in Alicante.Despite the captain’s absence, Mata believes England boast more than enough players to threaten.“Talking to Wayne every day in Manchester, I can tell that he is delighted with England’s national team,” he said.“They have youth, desire to win and the capacity to achieve something important – you only need to look at their qualifying campaign in which they won every game.“Tomorrow’s match will be a tough test for us and for them to see what level they’re at. I believe that England are one of our direct rivals for Euro 2016”.