African football legends were among the world personalities who witnessed George Weah’s historic inauguration as Liberia’s 25th president in Monrovia on Monday.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Austin Okocha, Sunday Oliseh, Samuel Eto’o and Didier Drogba were inside the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium to honour the continent’s most decorated footballer. Former Zambia’s Chipolopolo captain Kalusha Bwalya was also on the occasion.
The 51-year-old 1995 European, African and World Player of the Year took over from Africa’s first elected female president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
CAF president Ahmad Ahmad led the African football governing body’s delegation while FIFA General-Secretary Fatma Samoura led the world body’s delegation to the ceremony.
African presidents including Mali’s Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana attended the swearing-in while Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the event.
According to The Guardian, Liberians queued for miles to see the inauguration, celebrating their country’s first peaceful, democratic transition of power in 47 years by dancing as they waited.
Expectations are sky-high for Weah, who grew up kicking a ball about his poor suburb of Monrovia and became an international star through a distinguished career at Monaco, AC Milan, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.
“I have spent many years of my life in stadiums but today is a feeling like no other,” Weah, dressed in white and mopping his forehead with a handkerchief, told an ecstatic crowd at the stadium.
“I have taken an oath before you and before almighty God. Rest assured I will not let you down.”
He promised to do “my fair share to meet your expectations’’, but urged the people to meet his desire by rising up to defend their freedom, justice and the change they voted for.
The football legend commended the international community for supporting his country.
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