By this weekend , Cameroon’s football governing body Fecafoot will appoint a new foreign coach to replace local trainer Jean Paul Akono, appointed to replace Frenchman Denis Lavagne. JP Akono was brought in to save the blushes Of the four time African nations cup winners, The Indomitable Lions after lowly ranked Cape Verde beat the team in their away Nations cup
Qualifier 2-0. Cameroon won the return leg 2-1 in Yaounde on October 14th 2012, under Akono but that was not good enough for qualification. For the second time in two years, the once feared Lions could not even qualify for the African Nations cup.
Roger Albert Milla, star of the 1990 verson of the Indomitable Lions that stormed to the quarter finals of the World cup in Italy, is against the appointement of another foreign coach on the eve of The Lion’s World cup qualifiers against Togo on June 9th and DR Congo on June 16th.
When Millia made a public statement to that effect, one of the four shortlisted coaches and former Lion’s coach Pierre Lechantre said “…I am wondering if he (Milla) is really not xenophobic or racist”, despite the fact that only one Romanian Stefan Kovacs has managed the French national team and that was in1973.
The role of French national team coach was established in 1964! The Lions have had 24 different 23 coaches since 1980 and only three of them were Cameroonian born coaches (Jules Nyongha, Thomas Nkono and J P Akono) 12 of the 23 coaches were French.
Accusing Roger Milla of being a racist because he wants a local coach appointed to head the The Indomitable lions is meanspirited because Cameroon has had more French coaches than Les Blues of France has had foreign coach(s)
Cameroon’s sports Minister Adoum Garoua and NOT the football federation will be hiring and paying the new manager. Raymond Domenech, the longest serving French national coach (2004-2010) will most likely be the team’s next coach. The other coaches being considered for the position are Antoine Kambouare, , German Volker Finke and of course Pierre Lechantre.
The lucky coach that Minister Garoua will select is expected to earn at least US$60.000 per month. J P Akono who has managed the team for the last six months was not even on a salary! Like the other local coaches, he is treated with no respect and even when the sports minister pays them a salary, it is usually less than 10 percent of what they pay a foreign coach.
The sports Minister Mr Garoua met J P Akono and asked him to propose a pay package for himself and his assistant. A couple of days later, the position of national team coach was advertised. J P Akono was so angry that he refused to apply for the position. He is now sick and most probably, the sports ministry is not even paying for his treatment.
FIFA has suspended or threatened to suspend either the Yaounde and Omnisport stadia a number of times for being sub standard to host international matches. Both stadia were constructed in 1972 to host the African nations cup and are today practically useless.
FIFA always steps in to force the Cameroon government to respect it’s statues or get the Lions suspended from international competitions. FIFA has never asked the sports Ministry to stop appointing and paying a national team coach for Cameroon.
The Indomitable Lions last won the African Nations cup in 2002. Despite having Eto’s Fils, one of the world’s best attackers on it’s line-up, the team has performed below par for more than ten years now and there is no reason to expect the appointment of a new foreign coach will improve their performance.
Iya Mohammed, Fecafoot president since 1998 now wants to contest for the same position despite a ruling by the national state audit that he has misappropriated 9 Billion frs CFA (polite word for corruption) from SODECOTTON, the state corporation he manages.
His passport has been seized and he is banned from leaving the country. The Only thing preventing his arrest is that he heads Fecafoot which is why he is batttling to again win another mandate. FIFA gives him the cover he needs and Cameroonian football suffers as a result.
No wonder, the Indomitable Lions stopped winning trophies 11 years ago! There are no signs they will start winning any soon with the present stage of mis-management of Cameroon football.