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“My Focus is on Local-based National Team,” says Liberia’s new head coach Ausu Keita

Ansumana Keita has been formally introduced as the head coach of the men’s senior national team by the Liberia Football Association (LFA).

Coach Keita replaces British coach Peter Butler, whose contract expired in June of 2022.

Keita, the former head coach of the U17 national team, who has been commended for the level of change at the youth national team, stated that his focus will be on the home-based 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,” Coach Keita said.  

Keita will be in charge of leading the senior men’s national team for two years, with the mandate of building a home-based national team that will qualify for the 2025 African Nations Championship (CHAN), the 2023 AFCON, and the 2025 AFCON.

His first test will be in March, when Liberia face South Africa back-to-back in Group K of the 2023 African Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Liberia need a minimum of four points from the group of three to qualify for the 2023 AFCON. Morocco sit atop the group with six points from two matches, while Liberia and South Africa are yet to earn a point after losing their opening matches.

“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 owner of the national team, we decided to appoint Mr. Ausu Keita as Coach of the senior national team for two years,” LFA president Mustapha Raji said.

To ensure the success of the national team and football in Liberia, President Raji urged all football stakeholders and Liberians, in general, to support coach Keita.

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