George Weah Wins Liberia Presidential Election; Soccer World Celebrates

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Liberia president-elect George Weah

Photo via YouTube/euronews (in English)

George Weah’s political success reverberates around the soccer world.

Liberia’s National Elections Commission announced Thursday the legendary soccer player has won the country’s presidential election. Having defeated Joseph Boakai convincingly in a run-off vote, Weah will replace Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female president, on Jan. 22 in Liberia’s first peaceful transition of power since 1944.

Three of Weah’s former teams congratulated him on his achievement.

Former Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba led players in congratulating Weah.

Marseille and Cameroon midfielder Stephane Mbia followed suit.

Weah, 51, ran unsuccessfully for president in 2005 and vice president in 2011. He has served as a senator since 2014.

Many soccer stars have entered politics, but Weah, the 1995 Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year Award winner, is believed to be just the second ex-player to become head of state, following Algeria’s Ahmed Ben Bella, who played professionally in France for Olympique Marseille.

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