The following articles on amputee soccer and amputee athletes have been gathered from both U.S. and international sources.
Return to News Index

Liberia: Amputee Lonestar Gets
President Sirleaf's Blessing

By Richard Manuba, 29 April 2014


Liberia's Chief patron of Sports President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has reportedly given the much-needed 'green-light' for the physically-challenged football national team to fly to Russia next month to represent Liberia in an international competition.

The World Amputee Football Federation will assemble all member countries of the game beginning May 15 to compete in the club world cup, an annual event in which Liberia has participated on a number of occasions.

The NEWS Sports reliably understands from local amputee football authorities that the Chief Patron of Sports has ordered the Finance Ministry, through the Youth and Sports Ministry, to locate funds in the national coffers for the trip.

Cooper Melvin Gotteh, President of amputee football told our reporter that his leadership needs a little more than sixty thousand US Dollars (USD$60,000) to underwrite the cost of travel to and from Russia as well as and provide per diems for the players and other delegation members.

According to Gotteh, the Youth and Sports Ministry has so far been cooperative in collaborating with him in ensuring the President's mandate for the amputee national football team to honor Liberia's participation in the club world cup in Russia is fully adhered to.

Gotteh commended Deputy Minister for Sports Henry Yonton his interest in Amputee Football. Gotteh assured followers and supporters of amputee football that the technical aspect of the Russia outing is on course with the team committed to training twice a day under the supervision of head coach David Doe.

"The boys are in good shape technically, and not to raise the hopes of our people too high, we will approach the competition game by game. I am glad that the team's composition reflects a broad base selection of players from all six nationally recognized amputee football clubs," Gotteh intoned.

Liberia are three times defending champs of amputee football in Africa, winning the treble at the expense of Sierra Leone in 2007 (Monrovia), Ghana - 2011 (Accra) and Angola 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Lonestar was introduced to amputee football in 2006 by neighbors Sierra Leone, but after a year's practice, the Lonestar elevated the game beyond the scope of their mentors and won their first silverware against them in an enthralling final in Monrovia when Liberia, for the first time, won the right to host the event.    Liberia's captain Festus Harrison currently holds the African best player award, while the Country's goalie Joseph Allen is the best on the continent.

The Lonestar would use the Russia championship to bolster their technical buildup for the Africa Cup of Nations coming up next year in Luanda, Angola. Amputee Football was formulated globally to fight against vices of neglect, discrimination meted out against persons with disabilities.