(Reuters) - Former West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion midfielder Peter Butler has signed a one-year contract to coach Liberia three weeks before they begin their qualification campaign for the next World Cup.
Butler, who has previously coached in Botswana, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, South Africa and Thailand, takes over from Thomas Kojo.
“I am very pleased to become the new coach of Liberia and it was an opportunity, which I really could not turn down,” Butler told reporters.
“It is not a money move, I can assure you. It is about a great challenge that I will contribute to the rise of Liberian football, and not just in the senior national team front, but also on the respective (age-group) levels.
“The ultimate goal is to improve FIFA ranking (currently 152) and qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations. Anything is possible if you believe and we have to be pragmatic and realistic about the situation.”
Butler’s first game in charge will be a World Cup qualifier at home to Sierra Leone on Sept. 6 with the second leg four days later.
In October, they begin their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign with a two-legged preliminary round tie against Chad. Should they advance, they go into a group with Mali, Guinea and Namibia for a place at the finals.
Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Toby Davis