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Cameroon part ways with football coach Rigobert Song

Cameroon has announced it will not renew the contract of football coach Rigobert Song.

Song’s two-year contract expired on February 29, 2024 and in a publiscised letter, the government suggests the former defender had not done enough to warrant an extension.

“It is not possible for the State of Cameroon to provide for your remunerations and to maintain you in your functions as head coach of the senior national men’s team, the Indomitable Lions,” partly read a statement from the Sports Ministry.

Song was appointed Indomitable Lions head coach in February 2022, succeeding Portuguese Antonio Conceicao, who guided the team to a third place finish at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations on home soil.

The former captain turned manager qualified the five times African champions for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but Aboubakar Vincent and teammates were kicked out of the competition at the group stage despite a dramatic victory over Brazil – the only victory they recorded at the tournament.

Song who has won just six of the 23 matches played since taking over the then ensured Cameroon secured qualification to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d’Ivoire where the team suffered elimination at the hands of arch-rivals Nigeria in the round of 16.

Since the AFCON exit, which was described by a section of fans as disgraceful,  there has been a consistent call for a change of guard at the touchline.

The changes come two weeks after President Paul Biya explained he was equally disappointed by what he described as the national team’s poor show at the Africa Cup of Nations.

“It requires not only talent, but also courage, discipline, organization and hard work to be successful,” said Biya, who added that his government had made several financial sacrifices to prepare the team for continental and international meets.

“We will see to it. The Government and particularly the Ministry in charge of Sports have received clear instructions in that regard,” he added.

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