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Last Updated: Friday, 30 September 2005, 16:43 GMT 17:43 UK
Wenger worries for Weah
I'm sure of one thing - if he's elected he will be honest
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on George Weah's bid for Liberia's presidency
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is "surprised and worried" by the decision of George Weah to contest Liberia's presidential elections.

While managing French club Monaco, Wenger bought Weah from Cameroon's Tonnerre Yaounde.

Wenger's tutelage set Weah on the path that earned him the African, European and World Player of the Year awards in 1995.

"I'm worried...It is a dangerous country. I had George Weah as a player when there was civil war in Liberia," Wenger said on Friday.

But Wenger believes that should Weah be elected, he will do his best to improve the lives of his countrymen.

"I'm sure of one thing - if he's elected he will be honest, because there was a lot of corruption in the country. He will try to do it in an honest way.

"On one side, I've seen this player come to Monaco with nothing and become Fifa World Player of the Year and now competing to be president of his country.

"It's magical, it's a fairytale, but I hope it goes well for him," Wenger said.

The 38-year-old Weah is hoping to lead an impoverished country which is still feeling the effects of a 14-year civil war that ended in 2003.

"I saw him at his testimonial in Marseille in June... and he told me that he's a very good chance of being elected," recalled Wenger.

"But if you're elected that doesn't mean all goes well after it."

Weah acknowledged the debt he owed Wenger when he received the World Player of the Year award nearly a decade ago.

The French coach was Weah's special guest at the event in the Italian city of Milan.

"He made me the footballer I am today," Weah told the audience, calling Wenger onto the stage.

"He taught me to persevere, to live a decent life and to play fair."

Liberia's presidential election will take place on 11 October.

Weah returns to Liberia
24 Nov 04 |  African


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