George Weah: From Sport to Politics


Weah was born in Clara Town, a tiny slum on Bushrod Island in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia in October 1, 1966, Weah started his footballing career in Liberia. The current Arsenal of England coach, Arsene Wenger, brought him to Europe when he signed for Monaco in 1988. He signed for now-Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger in 1988 before moving to the French capital to play for Paris Saint-Germain four years later, winning the European Footballer of the Year Award in 1995. 

It earned him a move to AC Milan, in Italy, where Weah experienced among the most thrilling and most controversial moments in his career. He moved to England towards the end of his career and had spells at Chelsea and Manchester City, before returning to France to play for Marseille in 2001. He subsequently ended his career with Al-Jazira in the UAE 2003. 

At international level, he represented Liberia at the African Cup of Nations on two occasions. Throughout his career, Weah proved he was not the ordinary footballer. He is still the one and only player ever to hold the African, European and World diadem for the best footballer at the same time (1995). 

He entered politics in 2005 following a glittering career which included three African Player of the Year Awards, three league titles and of course, his coveted Ballon D'Or. Weah immediately announced his intention to run for president, forming the Congress for Democratic Change to back his bid, but he faced immediate and cruel opposition. Critics mocked him for not lacking a formal education, especially compared to his Harvard-taught rival Ellen Johnson Sirleaf - and dubbed him "babe in the woods" for his lack of political experience. Weah would reply: "With all their education and experience, they have governed this nation for hundreds of years... They have never done anything for the nation." Alas he was defeated by Sirleaf, Liberia's first female president, and lost again as William Tubman's running mate in 2011. But remained politically active and even returned to school, travelling to DeVry University in Miami to pursue a degree in Business Administration.
As Liberia grappled with the Ebola outbreak in 2014, Weah was elected as a senator, defeating Sirleaf's son Robert for the seat. Right now, Weah has won more than the Ballon d’ Or in his native Liberia as he has been elected the president. He will become the first ever world footballer of the year to become president of a country. Indications from Monrovia by external observers have said the polls were largely free and fair.
George Weah: From Sport to Politics George Weah: From Sport to Politics Reviewed by Jedidiah Mayor on January 30, 2018 Rating: 5

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