Arsene Wenger To Be Honoured By Liberian President Weah

Arsene Wenger To Be Honoured By Liberian President Weah
Arsene Wenger To Be Honoured By Liberian President Weah

Arsene Wenger To Be Honoured By Liberian President Weah

The news that Liberian President George Weah is to award his former football coach, Arsène Wenger, with the country’s highest honour has generated some controversy in Liberia.

Some people are saying that it should not be given to an individual for what they have done for the president personally.

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 – on Friday.

It is an honour normally bestowed on people for their work that impacts broader society.

President Weah, the only African to have been named World Player of the Year, was signed by Wenger in 1988 when the Frenchman coached Monaco.

He said that Wenger “took care of me like his son” when he went to Monaco, adding that “besides God, I think that without Arsène, there was no way I would have made it in Europe”.

Wenger, who stepped down as Arsenal manager in May after 22 years, is credited for nurturing several African stars during his career.

He 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.

The news has generated controversy in Liberia, with some saying that the honour should not be given to an individual for what they have done for the president personally, the BBC’s Jonathan Paye-Layleh reports from Monrovia.

But the award is not only about the personal connection between the president and Wenger, the information minister said – it also recognises that he “has contributed to sports in Africa and has given many Africans opportunities”.

At Arsenal, Wenger coached 16 African players, including Ivory Coast’s Kolo Toure, Cameroon defender Lauren and Nigerian Nwankwo Kanu.

President Weah has said that Wenger “took care of me like his son” when he went to Monaco, adding that “besides God, I think that without Arsène, there was no way I would have made it in Europe”.

Wenger has returned the compliment, calling the president’s life story “a miracle”.

“I remember when I saw him the first time at Monaco, coming in a bit lost, not knowing anybody, not being rated by anybody as a player and becoming the best player in the world in 1995 and today becoming the president of his country,” he told journalists in January.

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