As the debate rages on in Liberia over President George Weah’s decision to award the country’s highest honor to his former coaches, Arsene Wenger and Claude LeRoy, fans in Monrovia, the country’s capital on Thursday enthusiastically welcomed the former Arsenal gaffer.
Weah, who was signed by Wenger in 1988 when he coached Monaco was given a hero’s welcome by soccer-loving Liberians, including a local Arsenal Club.
Wenger is expected to 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 current coach of the Togolese national team, Claude LeRoy who coached Cameroon in 1988 would also get a national honour on Friday. It was LeRoy who recommended that Wenger should sign Weah, who was playing for Cameroon’s Tonnerre Yaoundé at the time.
Weah went on to play for AC Milan of Italy, Paris St. Germain of France as well as England’s Chelsea. In 1995 he was named World Footballer of the Year and won the Balon d’Or, making him the only African till date to win either award.
Weah’s popularity from his footballing career saw him being elected the country’s president in a landslide run-off victory in December last year.
Some Liberians have however expressed their disappointment with the honour being bestowed upon Wenger, arguing that his contribution is to Weah as an individual and therefore not deserving of a national honour.