Jerusalem gives Liberian President Weah an athlete’s welcome

Liberian President George Weah, previously a professional soccer player and the 1995 FIFA World Player of the Year, was welcomed to Jerusalem with his very own Israeli jersey.

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February 28, 2019 05:56
1 minute read.
Moshe Leon hostins Liberian President George Weah.

Moshe Leon hostins Liberian President George Weah.. (photo credit: FLASH90)

 
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Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion gave Liberian President George Weah an athlete’s welcome on Wednesday at the Kraft Family Sports Center in Jerusalem.

Weah, previously a professional soccer player and the 1995 FIFA World Player of the Year, was welcomed to Jerusalem with his very own Israeli jersey.

"In the future, you can be anything you want, even presidents, the discipline and the hard work that you gain from playing soccer will bring you far," the president said. "Since I toured the Old City of Jerusalem, I am a different person, and I have come to Israel, which is a special place, and I am happy to declare here that it is a safe and beautiful place. I am here to strengthen the relationship and friendship between our two countries and to promote peace. I come from sports and that builds character and teaches you how to be flexible and work hard."

After a reception, Weah met with youth groups from the Jerusalem Sports Associations in Emek Ha’arazim, encouraging the students that they could accomplish a lot with the discipline they learn from sports.

"Your Honor, President Weah, you have made history as one of the best soccer players ever, you make history as president, and today we make history on your first visit to Jerusalem as president, where you are an example to our youth that the sky is the limit,"  Lion said.  "Sports and culture connect different nations and as the important mayor, I will work to make Jerusalem the leading city in Israel in the field of sports, and your visit here today inspires us to work towards this goal."

Weah arrived on Monday for a four day visit in Israel.

He became president in January 2018. His predecessor, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who served as Liberia’s president for 12 years, forged close bilateral ties with Israel, making it, according to Israeli officials, one of the Jewish state’s most supportive countries in Africa.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

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