James ‘Salinsa’ Debbah one of Liberia’s dependable soccer stars, and a former professional footballer who is also believed to be a biological cousin of the Liberian leader, President George Manneh Weah has publicly described the President his ‘Cousin’ as a man who is described as ‘Vindictive’ and who has allegedly refused to reconcile the country.
Speaking on a local radio station, the OK FM via mobile phone on Tuesday, December 29, 2020, Mr. Debbah did not hid his feelings the reported bad blood between him and his cousin, the Liberian leader, President Weah stressing that the President who was named as Peace Ambassador prior to his presidency has deliberately refused to unite the people of the Country through reconciliation, a situation he said is not healthy for all Liberians.
Amid their post-football careers, President Weah took a political ambition while Debbah remained focus on football, where he had an ambition to contest the LFA presidency but was barred due to a clause in the FA status.
During the political season in 2017, Debbah chose to put his support behind Liberty Party’s Charles Walker Brumskine. The rumors became rife that the Debbah’s cousin, than contesting against Brumskine and others, was furious that his cousin didn’t back him but chose another person.
Weah went on to win the election and became Liberia’s next President after former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Following Mr. Weah, former World Player of the Year’s ascendancy at the Presidency of Liberia, the Liberia Football Association (LFA) parted company with Debbah who was serving as head coach of the national team. It was rumored that the decision for the LFA to part company with Debbah was due to the President’s influence.
The rumor mongers also had that another of the President’s friend and former teammate, Thomas Kojo, had allegedly told the President and it was job that he (Kojo) wanted. Of course, Kojo did get the job whether the President played any part, is not established.
In 2018, Debbah voiced out concerns as the friction between the two intensified after President’s decision to omit him from the honor of former Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger.
Debbah had written on his personal Facebook page expressing his disgust on the idea not to be officially invited to the ceremony.
The former Lone Star head coach wrote: “Despite the fact that I am also a recipient of the prestigious award, I was never given an official invitation to the event, but I insisted and went to pay homage to the man (Prof. Arsene Wenger) who gave me my break in professional football. God is great.”
With this latest revelation from Debbah, that the President is vindictive, many Liberians who spoke to the radio station agreed, but called on the Liberian leader to change his vindictive behavior and pay more attention to reconciliation and unite the country and its people.