MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Liberian President and former soccer star George Weah is being criticized for his plan to award former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger the West African country's highest honor.
Weah, who was elected president of his country last year, plans to honor Wenger and another French soccer coach, Claude Le Roy, at a ceremony on Friday.
They both played crucial roles in Weah's career.
Le Roy discovered Weah playing for a club in Cameroon in the late 1980s and recommended him to Wenger, then the coach of Monaco in France. Wenger took the advice, signed the Liberian and Weah went on to play for Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan, and became the first and still only African to win the FIFA world player of the year award in 1995.
Liberian sports minister D. Zeogar Wilson said Wenger is to be given the Humane Order of African Redemption with the rank of Knight Grand Commander. Wenger is expected to attend Friday's ceremony.
But Darius Dillon, an opposition politician, criticized Weah on Wednesday for using the nation's highest honor and the office of the president to recognize people who only played a role in his "personal life."