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26.04.2007 Football News


By Ledgerhood Rennie ,BBC Sport, Monrovia

he Liberia Football Association (LFA) is celebrating a deal with Italian sports firm L-Sporto which it believes will bring in some US$12.5 million.The eight-year football investment package is set to provide technical, logistical and administrative support to all levels of Liberia's national teams.

L-Sporto has also agreed to cover the sponsorship and marketing rights of the West African nation's premiership league.

The major focus of the deal is to ensure that Liberia qualify for both next year's Nations Cup finals in Ghana as well as the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

"We are poor and this deal will ensure the development all aspects of football," said LFA president Izetta Wesley.

"This deal will also ensure that we realise our goal as a country of reaching South Africa 2010, so all including the media must support this venture."

Under the deal, L-Sporto is to contract a Technical Director for Liberia, organize international friendly matches and provide equipment for the national teams, among others.

However, the Italian firm's previous record in some African countries leaves a little to be desired.

During their association with Zimbabwe, L-Sporto offered to give the Warriors a cash injection of some US$100,000 before the 2004 Nations Cup but the money never materialized.

Furthermore, the company arranged a friendly with El Salvador which proved an embarrassment as the team which turned up was not the Central American nation's full national side.

The Zimbabwe Football Association was also unhappy that it was asked to buy 25,000 jerseys with its own money, before reselling them to fans.

This demand over buying jerseys prompted deals between L-Sporto and football associations in both Ghana and Kenya to fall through in 2002.

L-Sporto Chief Executive Officer Chris Anderson has expressed delight that Liberia has accepted to enter into the deal with his firm.

"We have always believed in Liberian football and its talents and we are going to work ensure that South Africa 2010 becomes a reality."

"The potential for success in Liberia is high and we are going to make sure we do just that," the L-Sport Chief Executive Office asserted.

L-Sporto says it is also involved in Jordan, Haiti, Iran and Iraq.