August 23, 2019
By Sahr Morris Jnr
Englishman, Peter James Butler has been confirmed as the permanent coach for the senior national team of Liberia.
Butler has signed a one year contract with the Liberia Football Association with the option to extend based on performance.
The 52- year-old appointment was rubber-stamped at an FA board meeting at its headquarters in Monrovia on Wednesday as the Englishman becoming Liberia third national team head coach in less four years.
Butler, who was given a mandate to qualify Lone Star to the African Cup of Nations and the World Cup, said during his unveiling ceremony that to coach Liberia was an opportunity that he could not turn down.
“I am very pleased to become the new coach of Liberia and it was an opportunity which really I did not want to turn down.”
“It was not money moved, I can assure and it is not about financial gain. It is about a great challenge that I will contribute to the rise of Liberian football and not just on the senior national team front but also on the respective levels.”
Butler was unveiled Wednesday, August 21, at a well-attended press conference in Monrovia at the headquarters of the Liberia football association.
The Englishman was confirmed as head coach without a ‘backroom staff’ at a short ceremony which took place at the LFA headquarters.
The former Botswana national team and Platinum Star, a South African football team, coach succeeded Thomas Kojo as head coach of Liberia.
The LFA is yet to make known Coach Butler’s financial value for the contract he signed.
It is believed that Thomas Kojo was told via mobile phone by the LFA that his services were no longer needed. He has been allegedly told to return the LFA vehicle given him.
Raji told reporters at a news conference before Liberia’s match with Senegal that Kojo was given a mandate to qualify Liberia to the next round of the African Nations Championship.
Raji said the contract with the English coach is a one-year deal, nothing that the Englishman is tasked with the mandate to qualify Liberia to the World Cup or Nations Cup.
He said Kojo’s mandate ended after failing to qualify Liberia to CHAN.
Raji said the appointment of Butler was as a result of the executive committee’s agreement for the Englishman to take over the country national team.
“We hope and believe that Mr. Butler will bring the needed change to Liberian football to help other coaches to develop football in Liberia,” the LFA President said.
According to the LFA President, the English coach will be in Liberia to help develop football in the country while working with the local Liberian coaches.
Butler’s first game will be on September 2, 2019 against Sierra Leone.
Addressing the media for the first time as Liberia’s coach, Butler said the deal was not about money but to help and develop the hidden talent in Liberia.
This is a great challenge of contributing to the rise of Liberian talents from all levels.
He said he is not in Liberia to bring foreign coaches but to work with Liberian coaches.
“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,” Butler told the media.
In his words Liberia has some fantastic players that he can identify to bring in the national team and qualify the team.
He said there are many George Weah’s in Liberia that he can develop so he is Liberia to bring out the best talents in the country.
He has meanwhile volunteered his service to work with the various national teams of Liberia.
“I was approached and couldn’t turn down the offer. I am not here for the money but for the challenge,” he added.