Youth and Sports Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe has denied rumors circulating in Monrovia that former Deputy Sports Minister Dionysius Sebwe was sacked because ‘reckless decisions’ he made as Chairman of the Organizing Committee during the 2013/2014 National County Meet.Minister Nagbe told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview yesterday in Monrovia that Mr. Sebwe’s removal was President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s constitutional right.He said there were no careless decisions made at the just ended County Meet, and was one of the successful and colorful County Meets ever held in the country.He stressed that as Chairman of the Appeals Committee, of which Min. Sebwe was the Secretary General, decisions were made by the committee and not by an individual.Minister Nagbe said he would miss Mr. Sebwe for his level of commitment to work, but is also happy to welcome Deputy Sports Minister-Designate Henry Yonton, who he described as, a “fine administrator.”He boasted of the cordial relations between the outgoing with the former Deputy Sport Minister and wished him well in his new pending job.“Dionysius Sebwe served the Ministry very well as well as his country…and definitely he will be missed because he brought his own style of leadership at the sports department,” Min. Nagbe said.He added: “We welcome Mr. Henry Yonton as a very competent administrator, and we will continue to seek the advice of Dionysius if necessary.”The former Lone Star defender, Dionysius Sebwe, replaced Marbue Richards on March 8, 2012.Commenting on his one-year at the Youth and Sports Ministry, Minister Nagbe said his team rebranded the 2013/2014 National County Meet to include sports development program and selection of young footballers for the National Youth Team.Meanwhile, Minister Nagbe said a five-year National Football Development Plan (NFPL), to in develop grass-roots football in Liberia will be launched soon by Chief Patron President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.He said the plan would be replicated to other sports (basketball, kickball, volleyball, table tennis amongst others).To decentralize sports in the country, Minister Nagbe said Sports Coordinators’ offices have been reactivated.He indicated that in order to include both the public and private sectors in the annual sports tournament, the Inter-ministerial league, has been changed to Intra-Governmental League.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Poland celebrate their penalty shoot-out win over Switzerland 2 2 Arsenal’s summer signing Granit Xhaka missed from the spot as Poland beat Switzerland in a penalty shoot-out to become the first team to progress to the Euro 2016 quarter-finals.Fans were treated to one of the liveliest, end-to-end contests of the tournament so far in Saint Etienne, which saw both teams create loads of great chances.Poland dominated the first-half and went into the half-time break with a deserved lead courtesy of Borussia Dortmund winger Jakub Blaszczykowski, who scored after a clinical counter-attack.But the Poles sat back and allowed Switzerland back into the game in the second-half and Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri scored the best goal of the tournament so far to pull the Swiss level and force extra-time; finding the net with a stunning overhead kick from the edge of the box.It was the first goal Poland had conceded in France, and the teams could not be separated by an additional 30 minutes.Even the best players can be a victim in the lottery of a shoot-out, and this time it was Switzerland’s star midfielder Xhaka who suffered.His spot kick was woefully off target, skewing wide of the left-hand post, while Poland kept their cool and netted all five kicks to book their place in the last eight. It was an even contest at the end, but the first-half belonged to Poland as the Swiss struggled to make an impact.That’s not to say the men in red didn’t have their chances. Poland were yet to concede a goal ahead of this tie, and while Switzerland did threaten to break their defensive record, the opportunities they created often lacked conviction and failed to really test Lukasz Fabianski.The Swansea goalkeeper was probably Poland’s best player with a series of stunning stops to deny Switzerland’s best chances.Star man Robert Lewandowski has struggled to perform at his best so far in France and he was similarly quiet here.His strike partner, Ajax frontman Arkadiusz Milik, was presented most of Poland’s goalscoring opportunities, but he showed none of the Bayern Munich star’s prowess in front of goal; wasting three or four clear chances.But Jakub Blaszczykowski made amends for his team-mates’ profligacy by firing the Poles ahead on the stroke of half-time.A long throw from Fabianski sparked a rapid counter down the left flank, and the Dortmund winger was unmarked and had time to line up his shot as he fired in at the back post.It was a deserved lead, but Switzerland rallied after the break and were the more dangerous side throughout the second period.Most of their attacks were led by Shaqiri, who drove at the Poland defence and caused all sorts of problems at the back.The stubborn back-four were a match for most of the Swiss attacks though, through with a mix of organised defending and desperate last-ditch blocks, and it took a moment of magic to break themShaqiri had earlier passed at the chance to take a well-placed free-kick – with Ricardo Rodriguez’s effort forcing a brilliant save from Fabianski – but a moment of individual brilliance from the Stoke flyer eventually had them level in the 90th minute.A loose ball which bounced out to the edge of the box looked inviting, and the Potters star showed exquisite technique to scissor kick the ball past Fabianski and in off the post.Extra-time was a frantic affair which produced only a few clear-cut chances, but forward Eren Derdiyok really should have won it for Switzerland when he was played through one-on-one with the goalkeeper.His header wasn’t good enough, though, and Fabianski did well to react and push the ball wide of the goal.It was a chance which will surely haunt the player for years to come, as Poland showed their class from the resulting shoot-out to seal their place in the next round, and dump Switzerland out of the championship.