Liberia’s Lone Star Coach Still in Hiding, Announces Resignation


By: Josephus Moses Gray

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

October 18, 2004

The head coach of the Liberian national team, Lone Star, Mr. Kardala Kromah fled underground following the 3-0 defeat of the national soccer squad in Monrovia by the Teranga Lions of Senegal. He has come under intense and massive criticism for the national side defeat to Senegal.

While in hiding, the Lone Star’s coach on Monday, 11 October announced his resignation from the team for fear of his live and family members’, some of whom who were severely attacked by hooligans and protestors after the October 10th match between the national teams of Liberia and Senegal at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex.

Hooligans and angry fans attacked Coach Kromah’s 14th Street residence in Sinkor and manhandled the occupants of the house, including Mr. Kromah’s 70 year old mother..

Some of the victims told The Perspective in Monrovia that the angry fans and hooligans while manhandling Mr. Kromah’s mother they reportedly questioned her as to why she did not destroy the pregnancy instead of giving birth to someone whose miscalculation and instructions have brought disgrace to the nation.

The violent protest extended to the residences and business interests of some officials of the Liberia Football.

Besides Mr. Kromah, the hooligans also attacked the business center of Liberia Football Association (LFA) president, Madam Izzata Wesley and set her vehicle at ablaze in Jahllah Town Community.

The Liberia/ Senegal match was one of several matches that took place across the continent in the joint African Nation Cup and World Cup qualifier.

The game generated huge enthusiasm among Liberians who came out in thousands in their national color to cheer Lone Star to victory following massive media reports that 13 Liberian professional footballers across Europe and America arrived in the country to give the people and nation the must needed victory to increase Liberia chance in “group” A.

The match was officiated by Aboubacar Sharaf, Referee, while Kasonou Yo and Mian Effiegne, all from Cote D’Ivoire served as assistant referees. The match commissioner, Nabi Camara came from Mali.

Technical Director and Coach Kardala Kromah, is also the Chairman of the University of Liberia ROTC Department.

The trouble started as soon the Senegalese side punched in their third goal to the disbelief of the over 35,000 sports pundits who turned out to cheer their Liberian flag-bearers to victory.

The visitors scored their first goal in the first 40-minute of play from the headed of Boubo Diop, the same Senegalese striker who disgraced France during the last World Cup in Japan/south Korea, while team-mate Henri Camara scored the second and third goals in the last 45-minute of play. He is credited for scoring two goals against Sweden in the last World Cup. Both Diop and Camara play in England.

As soon as skipper Camara, the man of the match, landed in the third goal, disgracefully beating Lone Star goalie-Lewis Crayton, the hooliganism began, with angry fans going on the rampage, throwing hard objects, “missile,” and cans soft drinks at the match officials, players and technical staff of both sides.

The violence forced the referee Sharaf to temporarily suspend the second half for about 30-minute until UNMIL and the Liberia National Police brought the situation under control. Following the assumption of the second half, the visitors became more energized, bombarding the home side goal polls with shots, thereby keeping goalie Crayton busy.

Just then, violence started outside the S.K. D. Sports Complex, with some angry and disappointed fans of Lone Star breaking vehicles’ windshields and breaking into private homes and business centers. The aftermath of the match was chaotic - leaving several persons injured in the intense situation.

The disappointed and frustrated Lone Star fans who did not attend the match but monitored the match via their respective radios, setup road blocks and checks in the Monrovia suburbs of Paynesville, Congo town and Sinkor anticipating that the flag-bearers would use the route on the way to central Monrovia.

Unfortunately for them but fortunately for the players, the nation flag-bearers and technical staff were taken to Firestone by UNMIL to avoid them being attacked by the angry fans. However, most of the vehicles that used the route via the illegal checkpoints suffered some form of attacks at the hands of the hooligans.

At the ELWA Junction in Paynesville, a vehicle, which was escaping the prevailing hooliganism, ran into a group of people accidentally, killing three persons instantly and injuring several others.

Meanwhile, several of the players who played for Liberia in the match have threatened not to return to Liberia to play any match again for the nation, attributing their action to the many insults and attacks from the public owing to Lone Star defeat to

But UNMIL has taken full responsibility for the violence and lawlessness that took place on the Complex and around the Monrovia following the match, saying that such an ugly situation will never be repeated in the its presence.

Speaking at the UNMIL regular weekly news briefing in Monrovia on Wednesday, the high command of the UN peacekeepers in Liberia said the force would deal with any such situation.

The force has issued a stern warning to all troublemakers including hooligans to immediately desist or will taste the wrath of the peacekeepers.

Also, Chairman Charles Gyude Bryant has condemned the Sunday violence in Monrovia, warning troublemakers and hooligans to chart a new course of peaceful approach to issues instead of engaging in lawlessness.

Addressing a news conference at the Executive Mansion on his transitional government 366 days in office, the head of the power-sharing government said troublemakers will never have such an opportunity to disrupt the peace process.

Meanwhile, the world Football governing body-FIFA is seriously probing the incident that marked Liberia/Senegal match in Monrovia, the spokesman for FIFA has said.

According to information gathered from sports analysts in Monrovia, there is likelihood of Liberia being punish by FIFA for the ugly incident. Meanwhile, the director of the Liberian National police, Col. Chris Massaquoi has called for all Liberian home matches to be played outside the country.

However, during the last Monday radio Verities Populace Talks Show in Monrovia, there were mixed reaction from the public: several callers welcomed the violent actions while others differed. Those who welcomed the hooliganisms said it would bring about change in the Liberia Football house, while other sees it as a disaster for the nation and its people.