Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger has been duped by false reports that former football star George Weah has won Liberia’s presidential election, when in fact the final results have not yet been announced.
Wenger told journalists: “I would like to congratulate one of my former players, who became president of Liberia.”
He coached Weah in the 1990s.
Weah is among 20 presidential candidates in the Liberian election.
He failed in his two previous attempts but is one of the front-runners to replace President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
However, most analysts expect it to go to a second round, as a candidate needs more than 50% of the votes for outright victory.
False reports of Weah’s victory have been circulating about on social media but it is not clear why Wenger thought the former FIFA World Footballer of the Year had won.
“It is not often that you have a former player who becomes a president of a country,” Wenger said.
“Well done George and I would say just for him to keep his enthusiasm and his desire to learn and to win,” he added.
At Arsenal manager Wenger’s press conference, asked whether he was surprised that his former player, Kolo Toure, had made the transition to assistant coach for Scottish side Celtic and the Ivory Coast national team.
In his response Wenger chose to first congratulate another of his former players, George Weah on “becoming the new president of Liberia.”
For a moment it was thought he had received a call from Weah confirming the result of Tuesday’s presidential election.
Official results from the Liberian presidential election were not yet out but Wenger may have better intelligence. His eyes were glinting, and he spoke with much excitement and a genuine congratulatory feel.
Wenger and Weah share a very special relationship and it would not be a surprise if the Arsenal manager goes to Liberia for Weah’s inauguration – if he wins.