Amid criticism over President George Weah’s construction of Invincible Sports Park, thousands of Liberians continue to celebrate this historic project in hopes that more such projects will be implemented across the country.
This was demonstrated by the reactions of citizens and foreign guests, including invited football icons who had gone to watch the inauguration ceremony when Liberia Football Association (LFA) President Mustapha Raji stepped onto the podium to make remarks.
In his remarks, Mr. Raji echoed that President Weah’s construction of the sports park is a pathway for the growth of sports in the country and that more needs to be done with investors and private companies operating in the country to play a key role.
“To our investors and those doing business in Liberia, it is important that you join our President and our citizens. You make a lot of money with our country, now is the time for you to reinvest in Liberia.
“We have ArcelorMittal in Nimba, Bea Mountain in Cape Mount and Firestone which has been operating in Liberia for over 100 years, now is the time for Firestone to build a similar facility for the people of Margibi County.
“Mr. President, I am confident that you and your lawmakers will continue to push for us to have this infrastructure available to us,” Mr. Raji said after receiving a round of applause from the audience.
The sports park project, which includes a FIFA standard football pitch, two football training pitches, two basketball courts, a tennis and volleyball court, was funded by NASCORP, Liberia Maritime Authority and NPA as part of their corporate social responsibility programs.
Raji also reminded President Weah and his cabinet that the various national youth football teams need support as the government continues to show it is ready for the development of the sport.
“Our national youth teams need support and we believe that with your support and the signals you have continued to show, yes you are ready for the development of football, you have not abandoned your kingdom. Yes, we will vanquish.
“We see the light ahead of us, we see the light of success not just for basketball but for all sports federations in this country.
“To our politicians, let us join hands with our President, let us join hands with our fellow Liberians and work with our President for the development of Liberia.”
Another notable guest at the groundbreaking ceremony who called for the construction of additional sports facilities was the former Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, Marbue Richards.
According to Mr Richards, Liberia’s two high capacity stadiums, SKD Sports Stadium and Antoinette Tubman Stadium were built decades ago and have hosted crowded events; it is therefore time for the government to turn to the construction of several new stadiums.
The SKD Sports Stadium was built in 1986 and has a capacity of over 40,000 – which was reduced due to the installation of bucket seats in the facility.
Fortunately Pres. Weah, on his way to the podium, announced to the audience that the government of Liberia had reached an agreement with the Aspire Academy in Qatar for the construction of a multi-purpose stadium in Liberia coupled with other investments in the development of the sport.