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Former Soccer Star Weah Closes in on Liberian Presidency

  • Weah is expected to win final round of presidential vote
  • Political rivals have dismissed him as ‘just a footballer’
George Weah

George Weah

Photographer: Joel Saget/AFP via Getty Images
Updated on

Retired soccer star George Weah is a solid favorite to become Liberia’s next president as voters go to the polls Tuesday in the West African nation.

The 1995 world soccer player of the year, Weah won the first round on Oct. 10 beating Vice President Joseph Boakai, 73, by a 38 percent to 30 percent margin. They’re battling to succeed Harvard-educated former banker Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who’s due to step down in January. Commonly known as Ma Ellen, Johnson Sirleaf defeated Weah in two previous elections.