MONROVIA, Montserrado – The Liberia Football Association in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sports has announced Thomas Kojo as the interim head coach of the senior national team of Liberia.
Kojo’s appointment was confirmed by the secretary general of the Liberia Football Association, Emmanuel O. Deah, who told The Bush Chicken that the decision was reached following a technical meeting between the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Liberia Football Association. According to Deah, Kojo was only appointed on an interim basis.
“There hasn’t been any decision over the assistant coach but the former Lone Star defender George Gebro will serve as the trainer of the team,” Deah added. “Hopefully, this week, the full list of staff will be announced.”
Kojo’s appointment came eight months after the Liberia Football Association announced the termination of the contracts of all coaches of the national team due to lack of funds and the international engagements. His appointment means he has replaced James Debbah, who was appointed in 2014 as head coach of the national team.
His first task will be to prepare the team for the international friendly game against Sierra Leone. The game, which is part of Liberia’s Independence Day celebration, is scheduled for Sunday, July 22.
Among the many Liberians congratulating Kojo was Canadian-based youth coach, Ansu Keita, who said he believed Kojo to be the “best choice” for the job. “I personally trust and believe in his ability to take our national team to another level,” Keita added.
Kojo, the former Azziz Kara Football Club head coach, will be serving as interim coach for the Lone Star for the third time. He was first appointed in 2012 after returning from Nigeria with the U-23 team that finished third in the 2011 WAFU Nations Cup. He won his first game in charge of the national team with a 1-0 win over Namibia at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium.
Before the return leg, he was replaced and given the national U-23 job. Less than a year after being removed as interim coach of the senior national team, Kojo was recalled and was expected to lead the team through the 2015 nations cup qualifiers. However, he was replaced by former national team striker, Debbah, who remained as head coach until November 2017 when his contract was suspended.
Kojo is expected to lead the team for the remaining games in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. Liberia hosts the Democratic Republic of Congo in September before traveling away to Congo Brazzaville in October. The Lone Star is expected to play their Congolese counterparts on October 10 before the return leg three days later.
Neither the Liberia Football Association nor the Ministry of Youth and Sports has confirmed that there will be a permanent contract for Kojo, but it is believed that the former Barrack Young Controllers Football technical director will land himself the job if he produces good results during the 2019 Nations Cup campaign.
Featured photo by T. Kla Wesley, Jr.