The national U-20 female Lone Star never had no chance last Saturday in their return-leg encounter for next year’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea, against their Nigerian counterparts in Abuja, as the Nigerians ran away with victory, slamming in seven goals without a reply.The first leg two weeks ago in Monrovia saw the Nigerians sweeping victory their own way, scoring an incredible but humiliating 7-1 before the home crowd. And with such a devastating first leg, it would have been too foolish for any local fan to expect a miracle of victory.True, miracles happen once in a while but only when you are prepared and conditioned to expect it. Since we never prepared our young women for their opponents, it was clear that we did not need a soothsayer or a prophet to have predicted how the results would be.Now the two-leg encounter is over with our team losing a surprising but unfortunate 14-1 defeat and what should we begin to think. Yes, think is what I said and not ‘what we should begin to do.’ This is because we would do nothing any way. The disgrace would pass just like any other thing passes us by.But one thing I know we will do is to condemn and just take satisfaction in just talk about the soccer tragedy in Monrovia and Abuja. Yes, I know the Ministry of Youth & Sports would say nothing because they don’t have to say anything about the defeat. It is not a tradition for the Ministry to worry about why we lost and offer suggestions. Or take some serious action with the intent to get things done a little better in the future.But the question that should claim the attention of somebody is this: ‘Why did we register to play when we knew long time ago that we would not prepare the team well for the tournament?’ There are people who want to be counted because they want to be counted. But in sports Liberian players, whether male or female, deserve better preparation and motivation. Anything other than that means we would court disaster as it happened against Falconets.Even if somebody wanted the girls to lose, they could have led them to lose with honor. Losing 14-1 in two matches underscore the lack of commitment and support to develop the female game, much more the male national team.Where is Madam Ciatta Bishop? She was the one who, just before the Ebola menace, came on the scene with promises of seeing the Promised Land for our girls. Madam what happened?I know, we were too deep fighting Ebola, an unknown enemy so we were not really getting ready to use our legs to kick football. We had to cremate our Ebola dead; we had to fix our health care system and we had to pay those who risked their lives to fight the enemy…I can go on but enough! I agree, Ebola’s presence halted every progress, but did we have to register to be disgraced as it happened?Yes, if my daughter were part of the team, I would not have wanted her to return to Monrovia with her head bowed low, explaining what happened in Abuja or even what happened in Monrovia.After all we were never prepared and it was such unpreparedness that helped Ebola to kill more than it wanted to kill.Well down Nigeria, go Falconets go!!!!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
He beat Ronaldo and Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah to the prize.Modric’s success means Ronaldo remains tied with Messi having won FIFA’s award in different guises five times each.At 33, Croatia’s run to the final was the culmination of a brilliant career for Modric that had often been overshadowed by Ronaldo’s goalscoring in their time together in the Spanish capital, before the Portuguese left for Juventus in July.Luka Modric, who reached the World Cup final with Croatia in the summer, was named the FIFA Best Men’s Player of the YearModric scored twice and also netted in penalty shootout wins over Denmark and Russia, but it was his playmaking ability that caught the eye in winning the Golden Ball for the best player at the World Cup.“It was an unbelievable season, the best season in my life,” said Modric.“I’m still not realising how good a year I had collectively, individually, and I’m very proud for everything I achieved this year and it will be remembered forever.”For a sixth straight season, Ronaldo was the Champions League’s top scorer with 15 goals and also scored four times at the World Cup, including a hat-trick against Spain in a thrilling 3-3 draw to open Portugal’s campaign.However, Portugal’s last 16 exit to Uruguay in Russia and Ronaldo’s failure to score in the semi-finals or final of the Champions League opened the door for Modric.– Messi, Ronaldo no show –Modric (left) poses with his Best FIFA Men’s Player Award alongside Marta with her Best FIFA Women’s Player AwardNeither Ronaldo or Messi attended the glitzy ceremony in London with both in action for Juventus and Barcelona respectively on Wednesday.For the first time in 12 years, Messi was not among the finalists with third place going to Salah for his incredible 44-goal debut season with Liverpool that carried the Reds to the Champions League final.However, a shoulder injury suffered early on in the final robbed Salah of the chance to help Liverpool lift the trophy and also meant he was far from peak condition as he led Egypt’s World Cup bid.Despite scoring in each of his two appearances in Russia, he bowed out with the Pharaohs bowed at the group stage with three defeats.Salah did not go away empty handed, however, as he picked up the Puskas award for best goal for his strike against Everton in the Merseyside derby last December.Modric was joined by Real team-mates Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane and Marcelo in the FIFPro team of the year, also featuring David De Gea, Dani Alves, N’Golo Kante, Eden Hazard, Kylian Mbappe, Messi and Ronaldo.Didier Deschamps has won the World Cup as a coach and player© AFP Ben STANSALLFrance’s World Cup-winning coach Didier Deschamps won the best coach of the year prize in recognition for his work in leading Les Bleus to success in Russia.Deschamps, who became just the third man to win the World Cup as a player and coach, beat off competition from Dalic and his former France team-mate Zinedine Zidane, who won a third consecutive Champions League title with Real Madrid before resigning in June.Thibaut Courtois won the best goalkeeper award for helping Belgium reach the World Cup semi-finals as well as the FA Cup with Chelsea before a summer move to Madrid.Brazil’s Marta was crowned best women’s player for a record sixth time for her role in winning the Copa America to beat out Lyon duo Ada Hegerberg and Dzsenifer Marozsan.Lyon boss Reynald Pedros did win the award for best women’s coach, though, after winning the Champions League with the French giants.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric inspired Croatia to reach the World Cup final for the first time© AFP Ben STANSALLLONDON, United Kingdom, Sep 24 – Luka Modric ended Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s decade-long domination of football’s individual awards by being crowned FIFA’s best player of the year on Monday.The Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder starred for both club and country as Madrid won a third straight Champions League, and he inspired Croatia to reach the World Cup final for the first time.