The former Indomitable Lions captain, Rigobert Song, has been officially announced as the new national team coach for Cameroon.
Despite reservations in some quarters, Song was, on Monday, confirmed as the replacement for erstwhile manager Antonio Conceicao, who led the Lions to a not too impressive third-place finish at the Africa Cup of Nations tournament, hosted by Cameroon.
For some, the choice of Song is questionable, having failed woefully in past assignments whenever he has been handed the reins within the national team set-up.
In 2019, under the tutelage of Song, Cameroon’s U-23 side suffered first-round elimination in qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Song was also in charge of Cameroon’s CHAN team in 2018, where his team managed one goal in three matches and finished bottom of Group D below Congo, Angola, and Burkina Faso.
The 45-year old, capped a record 137 times, will now have to prove his critics wrong and perhaps become what Aliou Cisse is to the Senegal national team.
For Conceicao, who was appointed as head coach in 2019, he was hoping to continue in his position and possibly lead the five-time African champions to the World Cup in Qatar though they still need to navigate past Algeria in the playoffs.
However, the onus of qualifying Cameroon for the World Cup is now on Song, who was known as a hard-tackling defender, represented his country at four World Cup tournaments.
He won two AFCON titles with the Lions; the first of which was in Lagos, Nigeria, in the year 2000.
During his playing career, Song had stints with Metz and Lens in France, Liverpool and West Ham United in England, and Turkish club Galatasaray.
The statement released by the Cameroon Sports Ministry said that Song will be assisted by Frenchman Sebastien Migne, who has previously managed Kenya, the Republic of Congo, and Equatorial Guinea.
— Les Lions Indomptables Officiel (@LIndomptables) February 28, 2022
His appointment comes less than a month before Cameroon tackles Algeria in a two-legged playoff for a place in the World Cup finals in Qatar.
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