The quarter finals stage of the 2022/2023 National County Meet is giving away untold excitement at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex with fans trooping in with support.
Nimba, Rivercess, Grand Bassa and Lofa counties went head-to-head with spectacular kickball and football watches on Saturday at a massively branded SKD.
Sunday as well saw games between Maryland, Margibi, Bong and Montserrado counties.
At these games, the dominant ArcelorMittal brand can be seen from every corner of the filed, even outside as thousands of fans made their way into the stadium.
The scoreboard would play and ArcelorMittal ads which to showcase the steel giant’s investment in education, health, infrastructure as well as the company’s overall contribution to job creation and its upliftment of Liberia’s post war investment portfolio.
But as the games raged on, supporters of competing counties drew attention to the ArcelorMittal brand which singles out a company which has for more than a decade and half supported post war reconstruction of Liberia.
Rachel Saah is a businesswoman from Gbarnga, Bong County. She had traveled from Gbarnga to Monrovia and was impressed by the support AML gave the county.
“I came from Bong County this morning to support my county Lofa and I am happy for the way the county meet is going. We are rallying enjoying it” she said.
“I like Mittal Steel because my husband is in Yekepa working for the company and see how the company designed the field”.
Rachel records hearing from Radio Gbarnga in late November 2022 of the USD$275, thousand provided by ArcelorMittal for the running of the county meet.
“One evening last year, I came from the market and heard on the radio that ArcelorMittal gave plenty money, and the company asked us to come and make support our teams. That’s why I am here”
She continued “I asked my husband, and he said it was true and I told him that will come and see the games”.
At the entrance of the SKD, a team of reporters met Emmanuel Dahn and Samuel Dolo, two songs of Nimba starched in county colors with wide smiles.
As the two posted before the large ArcelorMittal banners afore the entrance of the SKD, they were full of praise for the sponsorship and general environment of the games.
“We are here to support Nimba, we are from Nimba county, and we love the way Mittal Steel has supported our county and the Ministry of Youth and Sports,” said Emmanuel Dahn.
Samuel Dolo for his part thanked AML for the direct support given the county and asked that in the next edition of the county meet, the company makes improvement in the amount of money given to its host counties.
Said Dolo: “ArcelorMittal sent money to the three affected counties and give youth and sports $ 275,000. We are happy that the company is doing all this. It is very welcoming because this is no small money”
“All I want to say is that they should not just give all the money to Youth and Sports Ministry next time. There should be increase in money given to Bassa, Nimba and Bong Counties to enable them to prepare better”.
Samuel Willie and Hanscine Roberts, two residents who travelled from Buchanan City for the games were also admired ArcelorMittal’s work and collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
They want the concession to continue to help solve issues that are confronting host communities including education, health, and some social, economic services like water, jobs provision etc.
“These are the things we want the company to address. As they carry the iron ore, there must be things left behind that we can benefit from”.
Hanscine noted “as for the money they given the Ministry of Youth and Sports, I believe that the Ministry was given too much money which should have been given to the counties”.
“Counties like Grand Bassa, Nimba and Bong where AML operates are still stressed with money issue to get prepared to compete in the league”.
The theme of this year’s National County Meet, “Liberia: a nation celebrating 200 years of existence – maintaining the peace through women’s sports participation”.
AML said this theme aligns with its long history of support and commitment to activities that promote peace and unity, national reconciliation, and development.
As spelled out in the sponsorship agreement, of the USD $ 275, 000, $250,000 constitutes the sponsorship fee while USD $25,000 goes as additional support to the three counties of ArcelorMittal’s operations (Nimba, Bong, and Grand Bassa) for the preparation of their teams.
Nimba County received an amount of Ten Thousand United States Dollars, and Grand Bassa and Bong Counties, Seven Thousand Five Hundred United States Dollars each.