A DECISION by Liberian President George Weah’s to award his former football coach, Arsène Wenger, with his country’s highest honour has elicited mixed reactions in the West African country.
Wenger will be inducted into the country’s Order of Distinction and be given the title of Knight Grand Commander of the Humane Order of African Redemption – the highest rank possible.
But some Liberians have said the former Arsenal manager does not deserve a national award for what he did for George Weah as an individual, while others argued that the president was right to honour a man who helped his career as a footballer.
A government minister said the award was not only about the personal connection between the president and Wenger but rather a recognition of his contribution to sports in Africa by giving players from the continent a chance.
Wenger is expected to be in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, for the award ceremony on Friday.
President Weah, the only African to have been named World Player of the Year, was signed by Wenger in 1988 when he coached French side Monaco.
The current coach of the Togolese national team, Claude Le Roy, will also get a national honour on Friday.
He coached Cameroon in 1988 and recommended that Wenger should sign George Weah, who was playing for Cameroonian side Tonnerre Yaoundé at the time.