MONROVIA (Reuters) - Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is to travel to Liberia this week to receive the west African country’s highest honour for his role in the development of the football career of president George Weah.
Another of Weah’s coaches in his formative years, Claude Le Roy, is also to be awarded the country’s highest honour, the government said on Monday.
“They will be honoured by the government of Liberia on August 24, National Flag Day for their role in President George Weah’s footballing career,” a spokesman said.
“Both coaches will be awarded the honour at an investiture ceremony in Monrovia.”
It was Wenger who took Weah from Africa in 1988 to play for Ligue 1 side Monaco, where the Frenchman was manager at the time, after a tip off from his compatriot Le Roy who first saw Weah playing in Cameroon.
Weah went on to play for AC Milan, Paris St Germain and Chelsea. In 1995 he was named World Footballer of the Year and won the Ballon d’Or, still the only African to win either award.
Weah’s popularity from his footballing career saw him win a landslide run-off victory last December in Liberia’s presidential elections.
Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Christian Radnedge