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Cameroon gambling on Seedorf amid African coaching changes

Johannesburg (AFP) – Former Netherlands star Clarence Seedorf is among more than a dozen coaches who will make Africa Cup of Nations debuts this weekend in 2019 qualifiers.

Despite underperforming in three previous managerial posts, the 42-year-old has been given a four-year contract by reigning African champions Cameroon.

His first match in charge of the ‘Indomitable Lions’ is away to minnows Comoros in Group B this Saturday.

Cameroon are guaranteed a place in the expanded 24-team 2019 Cup of Nations as hosts, but were included in the qualifying competition to give them match practice.

Vastly experienced and widely travelled Swede Sven-Goran Eriksson had been favourite for the Cameroon post after 2017 Cup of Nations-winning coach Hugo Broos was sacked.

Having masterminded a surprise fifth African title, Belgian Broos did not deliver at the 2017 Confederations Cup and failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup was the final straw.

Seedorf got the nod, with fellow former Dutch star Patrick Kluivert as his assistant, having had brief, unsuccessful spells at AC Milan, Shenzhen and Deportivo la Coruna as manager.

“I feel honoured to be given the opportunity to manage this great country,” Seedorf said when appointed.

The big test for the former Ajax Amsterdam, AC Milan and Real Madrid midfielder will come next June when Cameroon host the biennial African football showpiece.

Only another title will satisfy Cameroonian officials and supporters as the country stages the tournament for the first time since 1972, when it was a mere eight-nation event.

– ‘Pharaohs’ flopped –

Egypt have appointed Mexican Javier Aguirre, a 59-year-old who has coached his homeland and Japan as well as several Spanish clubs, including Atletico Madrid.

He succeeds Hector Cuper, the Argentine not offered a contract extension after the ‘Pharaohs’ flopped at the World Cup, losing all three group matches.

His first assignment is at home to modest Niger and the main issue would appear to be how many goals Mohamed Salah-inspired Egypt win by.

Aguirre got the job ahead of Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic, who took Algeria to the last 16 at the 2014 World Cup before quitting over what he considered hostile media coverage.

“I am really honoured to be here,” the Mexican said when introduced to the media. “It is my first job in Africa and a big challenge.”

Cuper was often criticised for overly defensive tactics and much attention will now centre on whether Aguirre opts for a more adventurous approach.

While many of the new coaches are non-Africans, Tanzanian officials tired of a lack of delivery by numerous Europeans have signed former Nigeria star Emmanuel Amuneke.

Amuneke scored the goals that gave Nigeria the 1994 Cup of Nations title and played for Barcelona and Sporting Lisbon.

After coaching success with Nigeria at age-limit level, Tanzania hope he can lift them out of mediocrity with their only previous Cup of Nations appearance 38 years ago.

The Ivory Coast are rebuilding after age caught up with “golden generation” stars like Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou and Kolo Toure.

Belgian Marc Wilmots disappointed as coach of the ‘Elephants’, failing to qualify for this year’s World Cup and losing at home to Guinea in a 2019 Cup of Nations eliminator.

His successor is local Ibrahim Kamara, who plans a pragmatic “counterattacking” system to stabilise the team and achieve results, starting in Rwanda this Sunday.

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9 comments

  1. All this Will be Interesting News when Paul Biya is Kicked out of Office. Cameroon can never be the same as long as Paul Biya refuse to go in peace and let Cameroonians pick up the pieces. He has destroyed the country enough with hands off management, Lobg spells of Private visits to Switzerland and over exaggerated expenses. Let him go and leave Cameroonians in peace. Biya most Go !

    • Is Biya the reason why you have not built a company in bamenda? Northwest Dilema

      • @Bakossi Worthless piece

      • I see Bamenda is your nemesis. We go tame that your inherited hate witchcraft. Show ur face 4 GZ we make you worm food. Wata Na Wata.

      • You don’t have a clue about what you are saying. Building a successful company requires transparent institutions and Biyas Cameroon had completely distroyed the instructions so much so that failure start even when you haven’t started

        • NDAH NGREH,,,,is your conclution base on what you have tried yourself?or you are simply repeating what many diasporans trapped in the vecious cercle of debt incured taking old dilapidated appartements on credit for 20 30 years in paris,london and new york meaning they are chained financially forever?if the appartements where generating cash flow,one would understand.but it is hardly the case.
          base on my experience cameroon is one of the easiest places to creat and run a company on earth today.one kilo of teh toh(irish potatoes)cost 500 to 800 in cotonou,lome,and lagos.if you cultivate 20 hectares with one hectare giving 8 tonnes in mankon or santa which has the best land for this culture.you have at least 40 million in three to four months.

        • @bah acho, REALLY??? 1) Who will extend the investment credit destined to a CORRUPTION-CHOCKED COUNTRY THAT CMR HAS BECOME? 2) how many BRIBES ONE MUST PAY to legally open a business in CMR? 3) upon paying the said bribes, how long one must wait before the go-ahead papers are obtained? 4) onto WHAT ROADS will the expected 8 tons of teh toh be transported to what export port (with the additionally SUFFOCATING BRIBERY by policemen, militiamen, etc. along the dilapidated roads, assuming the drivers and motor-boys don’t die of the known unavoidable ROAD ACCIDENTS…)? 5) What commercial exchange accords the CMR government has put in place to facilitate exports of Cameroonian products by Cameroonians?

    • you are right.

  2. Toutes ces nouvelles seront intéressantes lorsque Paul Biya sera démis de ses fonctions. Le Cameroun ne pourra jamais être le même tant que Paul Biya refusera de partir en paix et laissera les Camerounais ramasser les morceaux. Il a suffisamment détruit le pays grâce à une gestion à distance, de longues périodes de visites privées en Suisse et des dépenses exagérées. Laissez-le aller en paix et laissez les Camerounais réorganiser le pays. Biya doit partir!