MONROVIA, Montserrado – The annual Liberia Diaspora Tournament is set to kick off on Dec. 27 at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium. The tournament will feature six teams that will be competing for a trophy and cash prize.
The tournament will feature Liberia Football Association First Division clubs, LISCR FC and LPRC Oilers, inactive team Buduburam Veterans and Liberia oldest traditional clubs, Invisible Eleven and Mighty Barrolle.
LISCR FC will play against the Buduburam Veterans on Dec. 27 at 2:00 PM in the day’s first encounter, while the LPRC Oilers will play the second match at 4:00 p.m. against the Diaspora All-Star team that consists of Liberians who once played abroad. Former Manchester City striker Alex Nimely and his brother Sylvanus Nimely are expected to play for the Diaspora team.
The tournament, which is sponsored by Palm Spring Resort, the Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Tsingtao Beer, and Solo Cab, will continue on the Dec. 28 when the two winners from the first day of matches battle for a place in the final. Dec. 28 will also see the first meeting between Invisible Eleven and Mighty Barrolle in the 2016 calendar year.
The two semifinal winners will play in a Dec. 31 final. The winner will be awarded a trophy and US$ 500 while the runner-up will go home with US$ 250.
First division team LISCR FC has had a difficult start to the 2016-17 season and head coach Manneh Tapha believes the tournament will help his side gain some confidence and fitness. He told The Bush Chicken that he sees the tournament as a challenge, as it will be featuring some top-notch players.
“The tournament is very important for us at the moment,” Tapha said. “It might not be very significant to fans, but it comes as a help for the team. There will be some tough teams participating, and any positive outcome will boost our confidence in the ongoing league.”
Featured photo by T. Kla Wesley Jr.