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Meet the African coaches heading to Qatar World Cup

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The World Cup holding in Qatar in November will throw up an interesting history as there will be four African coaches leading their nations to the Mundial.

This will be a departure from past World Cups where African teams are often tutored by foreign coaches who are seen as superior to local coaches.

But in Qatar 2022, out of the five African countries that will fly the continent’s flag at the world soccer fiesta, four of them will be coached by homegrown gaffes.

Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia will represent the continent but apart from Morocco, the other four will have local coaches in their dugouts.

Cameroon

Not many gave former defender, Rigobert Song, a chance to lead Cameroon to the World Cup, especially after the Indomitable Lions lost 0-1 at home to Algeria in the first leg of the final qualifiers.

But the four times African champions pulled the chestnut out of the fire in the second leg in Blida by defeating their host 2-1.

Song who was only appointed after the AFCON im February, is one of only the third African players to have played in four FIFA World Cups (1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010), along with teammates Samuel Eto’o and Jacques Songo’o.

The 45 year-old led Cameroon to two Africa Cup of Nations triumph in 2000 and 2002 as captain of the squad.

Ghana

Though he was born in Germany to Ghanaian parents, Otto Addo is another local coach who will lead an African team to the Mundial.

The former Bramfelder SV, Hannover 96, Dortmund and Mainz 05 defender was appointed to take over the Black Stars after their disappointing outing at the 2022 AFCON where they were bundled out by debutant Comoros.

Addo set to work, assembling a bunch of hungry players led by Arsenal midfielder, Thomas Partey, and the team displayed such resilience by pipping the Super Eagles of Nigeria over to legs to pick the World Cup ticket.

The 46-year-old has thus become the first Ghanaian footballer to qualify for the World Cup both as a player and as a coach.

Senegal

Senegal coach and former midfield maestro, Aliou Cissé, no longer needs long introductions when it comes to African football.

After being in charge of the talented Senegalese team for over seven years, Cissé led the team to conquer Africa at the last AFCON in Cameroon in February, beating Egypt via penalties in the final.

The continental title was the first for the West African nation after many years of asking, including the pain of losing the 2019 final to a Ryad Mahrez inspired Algeria.

During his player days, Cissé was a midfield lynchpin for French clubs like PSG and Lille. He also played for English clubs Portsmouth and Birmingham in the premiership.

He captained Senegal to a famous 1-0 victory over France at the 1998 World Cup hosted by the European nation.

Tunisia

Tunisian coach, Jalel Kadri, has become the most popular man in his country after successfully leading the North African country to Qatar 2022.

The 50-year-old has a proven track record as his international managerial career has taken him to Saudi Arabia where he coached Ansar Al Madina club.

He also had a stint in Lebanon and was the head coach of Libya’s Al-Ahly Tripoli, before returning home to coach JS Kairouan in the Tunisian league, before he was appointed head coach of the Carthage Eagles.

Kadri is now tasked with leading the Eagles as far as possible at the World Cup in Qatar.

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Cameroon keeper Onana throws more jibes after World Cup controversy

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Cameroon’s first choice goalkeeper, André Onana, has thrown more jibes on the country’s football authorities following a controversy that rocked the team at the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar which led to his being thrown out of the team camp.

The Inter Milan shot stopper who fell out with coach Rigobert Song and FECAFOOT boss, Samuel Eto’o after Cameroon lost to Switzerland in their first match, took to Twitter on Thursday to share a new cryptic message which has further heightened the scandal that rocked the team at the World Cup.

Onana who returned to Cameroon for his holidays after leaving Qatar following his omission from Cameroon’s starting XI in their 3-3 draw against Serbia, shared a message which many think is a subtle shade on Eto’o, Song and other members of the football federation.

Writing in both French and English, the 26-year-old former Ajax keeper said:

“In a world where lying is the most common thing, telling the truth makes you a revolutionary. But in the end, time will put everything in its place,” he said.

Onana got into trouble when he challenged Song on his team training methods and following an altercation, Eto’o tried to intervene and settle the rift between them failed, he was initially suspended for the Serbia game but after the match, Onana left Qatar in anger.

He later released a statement saying that he didn’t find will ‘on the other side’ to solve problems.

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Cameroonian FA boss, Samuel Eto’o apologises for attacking Algerian cameraman during World Cup

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Football legend and current President of the Cameroonian Football Federation (FECAFOOT), Samuel Eto’o, has apologised for violently attacking an Algerian cameraman and Youtuber influencer outside a stadium at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

A video of the assault had gone viral on Tuesday where the former Real Madrid and Barcelona star was seen hitting the cameraman in the face after he had requested for an interview with the Cameroonian football boss shortly after Brazil’s 4-1 victory over South Korea in a second round match which was played on Monday.

However, following serious backlash and condemnation from football fans and officials, the former forward took to his official Twitter page to tender an apology.

“On last 5 December, after the Brazil-South Korea match, I had a violent altercation with a person who was probably an Algerian supporter,” Eto’o wrote.

“I would like to apologise for losing my temper and reacting in a way that does not match my personality. I apologise to the public for this unfortunate incident.

“I pledge to continue to resist the relentless provocation and daily harassment of some Algerian supporters. Indeed, since the Cameroon-Algeria match on 29 March in Blida, I have been the target of insults and allegations of cheating without any evidence.

“During this World Cup, Cameroonian fans have been harassed and pestered by Algerians on the same subject. I would like to mention that the scenario of Algeria’s defeat was cruel but perfectly in line with the rules and ethics of our sport.

“All the appeals made by the Algerian Football Federation to the competent jurisdictions have been rejected. I, therefore, call on the Algerian authorities and Federation to take responsibility to put an end to this unhealthy climate before a more serious tragedy occurs,” he added.

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