MONROVIA, Montserrado – The Ministry of Youth and Sports has announced that Liberia’s biggest sporting event, the National County Sports Meet, will go on as planned in 2017.
According to a release from the ministry, which is the organizer of the annual event, the tournament will kick off on December 2 in Gbarnga, Bong. The ministry said the upcoming event will aim to promote reconciliation and social cohesion during a heated election season.
The acting chairman of the organizing committee, Bryant McGill, said the ministry is committed to using the Sports Meet to promote national peace and reconciliation. McGill noted that the inspection of the various venues for the tournament had been completed.
He added that the previously planned host venue of Group C has been changed from Buchanan, Grand Bassa to Kakata, Margibi. Margibi will be the host of defending football champions, Monsterraado, Grand Bassa, and Rivercess Counties.
Greenville, Sinoe will play host to Group A of which Maryland, River Gee, and Grand Kru are a part. Gbarnga, Bong, which is the official kick-off venue for the competition, will host Lofa, Grand Gedeh, and Nimba, while Group D will be hosted in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount. Grand Cape Mount will host, Gbarplou and Bomi.
There will be two groups for the quarterfinals, where the eight qualified teams will be placed. The top two teams from each group will advance to the semifinal where the two finalists will be decided.
Meanwhile, there will be no basketball and volleyball in the upcoming event, and only football, kickball, and athletics will be featured. According to the McGill, the two sports will not be part of the tournament because of insufficient funding. Instead of receiving the US$500,00 that was submitted by the ministry in the 2017-18 fiscal budget, he said the tournament was allotted only US$250,000.
For the first time in three years, athletics is being included in the tournament due to the completion of the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex renovation.
Featured photo courtesy of T. Kla Wesley Jr.