Former African, European and World best football player, George Weah has denied recent reports that have sought to implicate him in a friend’s alleged cocaine and money laundering deals with officials of America’s Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
Last week, it was widely reported in the international media that Mr. Weah was at the house of Mr. James P. Bestman, his friend of 20 years – in the U.S. state of Maryland when FBI agents arrested him for alleged cocaine and money laundering deals.
The report said Weah was handcuffed, interrogated and subsequently released.
But the football legend who contested his country’s 2005 presidential elections, told the Voice of America (VOA) radio that he was never arrested and that the said story from Front Page, a Liberian online newspaper, was false.
In a press statement over the weekend, George Weah said: I would like to emphatically state that there was no raid or entry into Mr. Bestman’s home and neither was I arrested, held in custody, or interrogated.
What happened there was: I was on my way to Minnesota to the Congress for Democratic Change U.S. members’ convention and decided to pass by James’ house because he should have been one of those to attend the convention.
When I pulled into the driveway, Mr. James came down the stairs and I saw two officers serve him a warrant that he needed to come with them.
They asked for my Identity and I gave it and after five seconds they gave it back to me. It was just an unfortunate situation. You can be somewhere and would be asked questions purely on security reasons. That’s a daily security routine.
Furthermore, he stated: I asked the officer, what the matter was. He said he didn't know and that it is a federal case which he has a warrant for James.
We laughed it off and I told James I must have come at the wrong time. There will be no way in this America, that somebody will be arrested for drug business and let loose. They won’t let me go like that.
He concluded: You know me well. I will never get involved in drugs and money laundering. I don’t understand why anyone would want to make those claims against me.
Mr. Weah doesn’t seem to be the only one fighting to save his face, officials of the CDC, the party he is leader of, have gone on several platforms to defend their likely candidate for Liberia’s next Presidential elections.
George Oppong Weah, 44, spent 14 years of his professional football career in France, Italy, and England, where he won many titles with different clubs.
He has extensively helped and led the Liberian football team on a number of successful and failed championship chases for silverware.
His name is etched in football’s history books to have won the FIFA World Player of the Year, European Footballer of the Year and African Footballer of the Year all in one year – 1995.