George Weah Made His Return to Football in the Liberia vs Nigeria Game
The social media reactions reactions to Weah's return span from amusement to confusion and anger.
George Weah, Liberia's current president and former international football star, made an unexpected return to a professional football match at age 51.
Weah, who was the first African player the win Ballon d'Or and FIFA's World Player of the Year Award, shocked fans when he led the Liberian national team onto the pitch. The game had been arranged to honor him and retire his number 14 shirt.
It had been 16 years since Weah's last international football appearance and months after his presidential inauguration.
Reports state that Weah "showed glimpses of the class that made him a household name around the world" and that he received a standing ovation when he was substituted at the 79th minute.
The game, which was played in Monrovia, ended as a 2-1 win for the Super Eagles with Nigerian goals from Henry Onyekuru and Simeon Nwankwo before the home team scored in a penalty taken by Kpah Sherman.
While many were happy to see him back on the pitch, the match brought up a few negative reactions.
"The match stirred divergent reactions from Nigerians, who wondered why President George Weah and his old team mate, James Debbah played in the international friendly," writes Nigeria's Daily Post. "Some... wondered why Coach Gernot Rohr did not include President Buhari in his squad since his Liberian counterpart, Weah was on the pitch."
Check out some of the diverging social media reactions below.
Liberia president George Weah aged 51 played 79 minutes in an international friendly against Nigeria yesterday.… https://t.co/9WjGoGY44e— Ghetto Radio (@Ghetto Radio) 1536727291.0
Former World Player of the Year George Weah has put his boots back on. The Liberia president played in an internat… https://t.co/5RGojYE26d— BBC Sport (@BBC Sport) 1536730764.0
Check out Liberia President George Weah on the pitch in a friendly against Nigeria Super Eagles. Legend Weah duste… https://t.co/rgKkCzuvqL— Collins Okinyo (@Collins Okinyo) 1536723775.0
See Weah's free kick and solo effort but our players are adamant https://t.co/N4SmArzQwv— china acheru (@china acheru) 1536697103.0
Liberia president George Weah (51 years old) started for the Liberia national team today vs Nigeria. His son Tim We… https://t.co/KpwTtpHRqr— Walid Bylka (@Walid Bylka) 1536712839.0
Hold on....... George Weah is playing for Liberia? Against the Super Eagles of Nigeria? 😲 I don’t understand again… https://t.co/JVQA51c4MT— Olaleye Dada (@Olaleye Dada) 1536699118.0
George Weah playing for Liberia is a real joke and disrespectful of the Super Eagles. If he wants to have some fun,… https://t.co/LXlyyysQm2— Babanla (@Babanla) 1536697829.0
Liberia are fielding George Weah vs Nigeria 😂😂😂. A whole president with a potbelly. In a legit, FIFA recognised match— Kome (@Kome) 1536695495.0