MONROVIA, Montserrado â€“ As Liberiaâ€™s national football team prepares to play the Warriors of Zimbabwe in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on Sunday, June 11, five foreign-based players have been ruled out of playing.
Lone Star’s preparation for the crucial match against the South African side was initially hit with a huge controversy after head coach James Debbah claimed to be unaware of the list of 14 foreign base players been invited.
Now, things continue to get worse for them as Norway-based striker Alex Nimely was ruled out due to issues regarding his change of nationality. The 26-year-old previously played for Englandâ€™s Under-20 and Under-21 teams before switching allegiance to his native Liberia.
According to a release from the Liberia Football Association, American-based right full-back Joel Johnson was also among those players that will be missing from the list of foreign-based players. The Charlotte Independence player has complications with his documents from Spain where he played for the youth sides of Real Madrid and Valencia.
Like Joel Johnson, India-based midfielder Alfred Jaryan, who has just won the India I League, will also miss the clash due to complications with his document. Jaryan was expected to beef up the Lone Star squad following his fine performance in the just-ended India I League where he was voted the league’s best midfielder.
It was already known that South Africa-based Anthony Snoti Laffor would miss out on the match due to injury he sustained while playing for Sundowns in the CAF Champions League away at AS Vita Club of DR Congo.
All these absences pale in comparison to the news of the dependable striker William Jebor being ruled out. The Moroccan Botola Pro league champion and highest goal scorerâ€™s exit from the team was confirmed after the death of his mother earlier this week.
In the previous African Cup and World Cup qualifiers, the former LPRC Oilers striker scored nine goals from nine appearances.
Meanwhile, the national team has departed the country with nine local players to join the foreign-based players in Zimbabwe.
Barrack Young Controllersâ€™ Prince Saydee, Mark Paye, and Prince Kennedy will represent Liberia. LISCR FC sent Saah Nyumah, Christopher Jackson, and Tommy Songo. League leaders FC Fassell will be contributing Nuwo Johnson, John Jessay and Alvin Marconnel.
The foreign-based players already in Zimbabwe are Lithuanian-based midfielder Murphy Oscar Dorley, Felda Unitedâ€™s Zah Krangar, center defender Dirkir Glay of Indonesian Super League side Persib Balikpapan, Spartak Moscowâ€™s forward Sylvanus Nimely, Spain-based goalkeeper Boison Wynney, and the duo from Jordan: Teah Dennis and Marcus Macauley of Al Ahli Amman.
Wuhan Zallâ€™s striker Sam Johnson is expected to join the squad in the early hours of the match day. The former Djurgardens forward is expected to take part in his clubâ€™s crucial match away at Shanghai Shenxin on Saturday, June 10 in Round 13 of the China League One before flying over to Zimbabwe.
Featured Photo courtesy of Anthony Kokoi