Ansumana Keita was unveiled as Liberia’s new senior men’s football team head coach at a news conference at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) on January 25.
The ceremony was attended by Liberia Football Association (LFA) President Mustapha Raji, Youth and Sports Minister D. Zoegar Wilson and members of the technical and youth football development committee, which did the vetting process for the selection of the coach.
Keita signed a two-year contract with a mandate of building a home-based national team that will qualify for the 2025 African Nations Championship (CHAN), 2023 and 2025 Africa Cups of Nations.
“We, as an executive committee, received the recommendation from the technical and youth football development committee and reviewed it,”
“Based on our own revision, which we submitted to the Ministry of Youth and Sports as the owners of the national teams, we decided to appoint Mr. Ansu Keita as coach of the senior national team for two years,” Raji said.
He urged all football stakeholders and Liberians to unite behind coach Keita for the success of the national team and football in Liberia.
For his part, Wilson said the government has explicit confidence in coach Keita.
He thanked the committee for “a job well done,” adding that he “can’t second guess” its decision.
Keita praised the LFA and government for his preferment and promised to do his best at the level of the senior national team.
“My focus is on the local-based team; although foreign-based players will be added. I think we can improve and strengthen the local-based team. We are not here to build the senior national team but to restructure. We will build from the grassroots level,” Keita said.
Prior to his appointment, Keita served as head coach of the men’s under-17 national team and acting head coach of the senior national team where he guided Liberia to a two-legged match in the 2022 CHAN qualifiers.
Liberia defeated Senegal 2-1 in Dakar in the second leg, having lost 3-0 in Monrovia.
It was a historic victory because Liberia hadn’t beaten Senegal away in 55 years.
Keita named Cooper Sannah as deputy coach, Nathaniel Sherman as goalkeeper trainer, George Gebro as a physical trainer, Sebastian Collins as administrative manager and Tommy Johnson as equipment manager.