The National County Sports Meet will officially kickoff Saturday March 31, 2018 across the Country with all fifteen counties participating in the sporting festival that will come to an end on April 22, 2018.
The annual National Sports event preliminary ROUNDS will be played in Gbarnga City Bong County, Grand Bassa, Buchanan, Robersport Grand Cape Mount and Greenville, Sinoe Counties respectively while the quarter and semifinals, comprising the eight qualified teams will move to Monrovia.
The month long tournament was postponed five times due to financial and technical reasons.
The tournament failed to kick off on December 2, 2017 because the Superintendent Council of Liberia refused to honor the tournament on grounds that the amount allocated for the sporting showdown was insufficient to take care of their various counties.
The Superintendents were demanding $30, 0000 for each County to kick-start the Nation’s biggest sporting events but later agreed to receive $21, 000 USD.
Again the tournament was postponed from December 9 to 16 and to 30 2017 because of the heated political activities in the country which brought current president George Weah to power.
Addressing the media Monday March 26, 2018 Youth and Sports Minister Zoegar Wilson said they are fully ready for the hosting of the tournament.
He said the new theme of the county meet is “Uniting Liberia after Elections through Sports” while the previous theme was “Promoting National Identity, reconciliation and social cohesion through sports”
Minister Wilson said Liberia has a rich history of sports and believed the tournament will be successful with the help of ever Liberian.
He called on Liberians to unite as one people and hope the biggest sporting event in the country will be used as a tool to bring Liberians together.
Previously the county meet was given five hundred thousand United States dollars but it was reduce to two hundred and fifty thousand United States Dollars.
Before the tournament was postponed the counties were given eight thousand United States dollars each as preparation fees and Minister Wilson ensure all counties that additional funds will be given to them for their preparation.
For his part Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf said the counties are in high spirit for the tournament after months of postponement.
He added that the people in the various counties are committed to a successful tournament because it’s offers good business climate for host counties including the players who participate in the tournament.
Internal Affairs Ministry Varney A. Sirleaf encouraged the counties that though the funding is small, there was need to hold the County Meet to foster peace and reconciliation, especially at the time Liberians have just ended a highly contested election.
He urged the superintendents to work within the available amount to prepare their teams as they will receive additional financial assistance.
This year’s event is officially sponsored by Lonestar MTN. Liberia’s 15 counties have been divided into four groups for the event.
Group one pairs Bong, Lofa, Nimba and Grand Gedeh Counties. Gbarnga in Bong County will serve as host for that Group.
Group two consists of Grand Bassa, River Cess, Montserrado and Margibi Counties. They will play their games in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa.
In Group three, Grand Cape Mount, Gbarpolu and Bomi Counties will sort things out in Robertsports.
In group four, they are Sinoe, Grand Kru, Maryland and River Gee. Greenville will host them all.
Meanwhile, President George Manneh Weah, to be flanked by Youth and Sports Minister, D. Zeogar Wilson, will take the official kick-off in Gbarnga, while the event goes on simultaneously in the rest of the counties.
With the latest news about the kickoff of the tournament Football and kickball players including their coaches have all welcome the decision by all parties to allow the tournament to go on.
Due to the limited budget allocated for the Sporting festival by the government instead of five disciples there will be two disciples in the competition this year namely Football and Kickball.
Despite several postponements, the Ministry of Youth and Sports has always been optimistic of hosting the Tournament.
Courtesy of Christopher C.Walker.