Football fans have blasted Liberia president George Weah after he made a sensational return to international football during a friendly with Nigeria on Tuesday evening.
The 51-year-old former Chelsea and Manchester City forward led the Liberia attack, but he could not recreate the kind of performance which earned him the World Player of the Year award in 1995 as a strong Super Eagles team ran out 2-1 winners in Monrovia.
But not everyone enjoyed watching Weah played a FIFA sanctioned match, with most of them expressing their dismay on Twitter.
Biola Kazeem, a marketing PR personnel described Weah’s involvement as disrespect. ” George Weah playing for Liberia is a real joke and disrespectful of the Super Eagles. If he wants to have some fun, he can invite his fellow ex-players to play an exhibition game. This was supposed to be a serious match, not a kick about,” he tweeted.
Kelvin Odanz shared same sentiment. ” George Weah features for Liberia in a FIFA organized friendly match Vs Nigeria. If they call Africa a shit hole, y’all will flare up and scream racism,” he said.
Kome tweeted, ” Liberia are fielding George Weah vs Nigeria. A whole president with a potbelly. In a legit, FIFA recognised match.”
Hold on……. George Weah is playing for Liberia? Against the Super Eagles of Nigeria? 😲
I don’t understand again o…………
Is this an international friendly or an exhibition game?
— Olaleye Dada (@olaleyedada) September 11, 2018
What is wrong with the @thenff ? You carry our full time professionals to play a beer parlour friendly in Liberia with a bunch or retirees, George Weah and James Debbah, playing for the Lone Star.
This is insulting to our pros, if you want to play a legends game you do so pic.twitter.com/tPG2a0BbZP
— modovictor (@modovictorekene) September 11, 2018
Weah, who was elected as president in January this year, wore his famous number 14 shirt – which was retired after the arranged friendly in his honour – and was joined by former Lone Star team-mate and current national team manager James Debbah on the field.
Nigeria took the lead after 12 minutes when Everton’s on-loan Galatasaray striker Henry Onyekuru found the top corner before Crotone forward Simeon Nwankwo doubled their advantage just after the half-hour mark with a well-timed header.
Stoke midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo and Leicester duo Wilfried Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho, who all featured at this summer’s World Cup in Russia, played some part in the fixture as the Super Eagles looked set for a routine victory at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium.
However, there was still time for a nervy finale as Rotherham centre-back Semi Ajayi handled in the penalty area, which was converted to halve the deficit with three minutes remaining, but Nigeria held on.