Thursday Aug 22, 2019. 14:00
Englishman Peter Butler has been confirmed as the new coach of Liberia, signing a one-year contract with the option to extend the deal.
Butler, who previously led Botswana and worked at South African Premier Soccer League club Platinum Stars, 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 and qualify for Afcon. Anything is possible if you believe and we have to be pragmatic and realistic about the situation.”
Liberia Football Association Mustapha Raji says Butler will also be tasked with overseeing an improvement in the technical work of the LFA.
“We hope and believe that Mr. Butler will bring the needed change to Liberian football to help other coaches to develop football in the country,” he said.
Butler’s first game in charge will be a World Cup qualifier at home to Sierra Leone in early September, with the second leg a few days later.
Liberia last appeared at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in 2002, with their only other appearance six years earlier in South Africa.
They face Chad in a preliminary round qualifier in October, where a win will see them pooled with Mali, Guinea and Namibia for a place in Cameroon in 2021.
They are currently ranked number 152 in the world, a sharp fall from 92nd just three years ago.
Butler was a midfielder in his playing days, most notably with West Ham United in the early 1990s.