Monrovia Club Breweries head coach Francis Samujeabo Sarploh has taken responsibility for their 3-0 defeat to Mali’s AS Binga in a CAF Confederation Cup first round first leg tie at the Stade Modibo Keita on 11 September.
Sarploh said his young, talented and committed group of players disappointed everyone, including the government, Liberia Football Association (LFA) and their fans.
Writing on his Facebook page in Ivory Coast on 13 September, Sarploh said football games are negatively impacted by so many problems, ranging from late preparation, psychological state of players (example demotivation), travel conditions, etc.
“But as a coach you don’t put up excuses. There is no perfect condition. Against this backdrop, I publicly declare that I am fully responsible for the heavy loss and want to hereby apologize to all the institutions and people we let down.
“Having said this, we want to say all is not over. We have the return leg this Sunday in Monrovia. Life is 10-percent what happens to you and 90-percent how you react to it!
“Believe you can and you are halfway there! We are going to work hard collectively and put smile on your faces come this Sunday. Once more, please accept our apology!!!” he concluded.
Montserrado County District #16 Representative Dixon Seboe, who is a board member of the club, believes it isn’t over until it is over.
“I don’t want to blame anyone here. Like you and many persons back home, I am disappointed but life goes on. We must dust ourselves from this dressing room, pack our bags and get ready for the return leg with qualification on our minds.
“I am right now thinking about how to raise money for our next opponents because I know we will qualify considering what we went through to get to Mali. It wasn’t an easy process to raise money and it isn’t going to be an easy process again. God will be on our side,” said Seboe, who was instrumental in raising US$100,000.
President George Weah-led government contributed US$65,000 while board chairman Dr. C. Nelson Oneyima gave US$35,000 on behalf of Monrovia Breweries Incorporated.
LFA executive committee member Henry Boyd Flomo, who headed the delegation, also encouraged the team.
“You have all heard about the Barcelona comeback against PSG in the Champions League. Some of you were in this very team that beat JS Kabylie 3-0 in Monrovia and lost the return leg 4-0 in Algeria. It is your time to repeat those historic moments. Nothing is impossible in football,” said Flomo.
The return leg is at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium on 19 September.