Amidst the coronavirus pandemic coupled with the economic hardship, Liberia has extended the contract of its national team coach Peter Butler.Butler who contract ended on Friday, August 22, 2020 has been given another mandate to steer the affairs of the senior national team, Lonestar.
The LFA president, Mustapha Raji flanked by his Vice President for Operation, Wilmot Smith at a news conference Tuesday, August 25, 2020 said based on the technical report submitted, the Ministry of Youth and Sports has extended the contract of the coach by a year until .Though he felt short to disclose the content of the technical staff report for which the contract was extended, he overly emphasized the extension of the Englishman contract .But some football pundits have questioned the decision describing it as a waste of taxpayers money especially in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic when people are faced with enormous challenges.
The football pundits who preferred to be anonymous argued that since the pandemic Coach Butler has been on a holiday making reportedly fifteen thousand United states dollars (15,000usd) including salary, housing, a car and other bonuses amongst others at the detriment of Liberian tax payers.
“We can not continue to keep Coach Butler when infact we need that money to cater to our brothers and sisters who are on hospital beds, and children being threaten by the pandemic,” the football pundits asserted.They believe that the extension is untimely, counterproductive and undermines the dignity of taxpayers who struggled in these difficult times to support the country’s economy.The sports pundits ponder why the National Team Coach contract will be extended when Liberia is not playing locally nor internationally due to the pandemic.They want the government to immediately revert the decision and use the money for the coach to provide food and medication to the struggling masses in the slum communities.
Meanwhile, when appointed in 2019, Butler luckily advanced to the next phase of the FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifiers after a 3-1 win against underdog Sierra Leone despite losing 1-0 in Freetown. However, he failed to qualify for the Group stage losing to Chad 1-0 despite needing just a goalless draw to advance to the next phase contrary to his mandate.Coach Butler also flunked in recruiting the best cranes of youthful talents both locally and international as enshrined in his previous mandate in spite of the huge purse backing from the Liberian FA. He missed out on his desirable targets Inaka William’s of Athletic Bilbao and Mark Pabai of Utrecht of Netherlands with Liberian Parentage. 3rd division side Pags FC Gasimu Kouyateh remains his only testimony for featuring him in a World Cup encounter against Sierra Leone and has since booked five caps for Liberia.
Amidst this poor performance, Coach Butler has already bagged reportedly $ 180,000 USD including salary, housing and gas amongst others for the 1st year for about five games while this extension will see him bags similar or more. Liberia has perpertually remain in the lowest ranking on the Men FIFA monthly performance the worse in recent time a continuous free flow on the FIFA ranking moving from 150th place in April 2019 to 153rd before climbing a step to 152nd in June 2019 in the world and 46th on the continent.
Credit : Sport Day /By: Abraham Boimah