President George Weah makes football comeback aged 51

George Weah turned back the clock by lining out for Liberia in a friendly against Nigeria. (Shutterstock)
Updated 12 September 2018
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President George Weah makes football comeback aged 51

  • The international match in Monrovia was organized to ‘retire’ the number 14 shirt worn by Weah, who was voted world, European and African footballer of the year in 1995
  • Instead of watching the match against Nigeria from the grandstand, he captained his country and showed glimpses of former skills

JOHANNESBURG: Liberia president and former world footballer of the year George Weah made a surprise return to international football Tuesday at the age of 51 in a 2-1 friendly defeat by Nigeria.
The international match in Monrovia was organized to ‘retire’ the number 14 shirt worn by Weah, who was voted world, European and African footballer of the year in 1995.
Weah, who scored a landslide victory in presidential elections last December, is the only African footballer to win the world and European awards.
Instead of watching the match against Nigeria from the grandstand, he captained his country and showed glimpses of former skills before being substituted 12 minutes from time.
Weah received a standing ovation when leaving the pitch in the capital of a west African country where football is the most popular sport.
Team-mates of Weah wore shirts with “Thank you King George” on them as a tribute to the legend who retired from international football 16 years ago.
Libera are ranked 47th of 54 African football nations and 158th in the world. The last of their two Africa Cup of Nations tournament appearances was 16 years ago.
Weah played in Liberia, the Ivory Coast and Cameroon before moving to Europe, where his clubs included Paris Saint-Germain, Monaco, Marseille and AC Milan.
He also had brief spells with Chelsea and Manchester City before finishing his career in the United Arab Emirates playing for Al Jazira.
In the friendly match, Nigeria built a two-goal half-time lead thanks to Henry Onyekuru and Simeon Nwankwo and Sherman Kpah converted a late penalty for Liberia.


Rake news: Social media ablaze on Trump’s forest remarks for Finland

Updated 19 November 2018
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Rake news: Social media ablaze on Trump’s forest remarks for Finland

  • US President Donald Trump claimed the forest-covered nation prevents wildfires by raking its forest floors
  • Raking-related terms were among the most popular Twitter hashtags and Google searches in the Nordic nation

HELSINKI: Social media in Finland was ablaze with bemused comments on Monday after US President Donald Trump claimed the forest-covered nation prevents wildfires by raking its forest floors.
Speaking to reporters during the weekend while in California to see the impact of devastating forest fires, the US president again blamed forest management, but said Finland had the answer.
Trump cited the Finnish president as telling him Finns “spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things (in the forest), and they don’t have any problem.”
However the Nordic country’s president, Sauli Niinisto, told the Ilta-Sanomat newspaper on Sunday that he had no recollection of raking being mentioned when the pair met in Paris a week ago.
“I told him that Finland is a country covered in forests, but we also have a good warning system and network,” the president said.
Finnish social media users were quick to pile in, describing Trump’s comments as “rake news” and posting pictures of themselves brandishing the garden implement.
By late Sunday, raking-related terms were among the most popular Twitter hashtags and Google searches in the Nordic nation which is 72 percent covered by forests, predominantly of pine, birch and fir.
Meanwhile Yrjo Niskanen, head of emergency preparedness at Finland’s national forest center, said the US president may have been referring to the practice of removing branches and loose material left in the forest after logging.
But he pointed out that this is not done with a rake — and the wood is collected for energy production.
“I’ve never thought before that it could be removed because of the fire risk, that’s not mentioned in any forestry manuals. It’s taken away purely for business reasons,” Niskanen told the Iltalehti newspaper.