On the orders of the country’s president, former star player Rigobert Song will be named head coach of the Cameroon national team, replacing Toni Conceicao, the sports minister announced on Monday. Conceicao has led Cameroon into the World Cup qualification play-offs and to a third-place finish in the Africa Cup of Nations last month on home soil. Sports minister Narcisse Mouelle Kombi said Cameroonian President Paul Biya has ordered the national football federation to give the job to ex-Liverpool defender Song.
“The coach of the men’s national football team, Mr. Antonio Conceicao, has been replaced by Rigobert Song on extremely high instructions from the President of the Republic,” Kombi said in a statement. “The Cameroonian Football Federation (Fecafoot) is urged to take the necessary steps to ensure that these stringent regulations are implemented quickly and harmoniously.” Conceicao’s “contract has come to an end,” according to Fecafoot.
Cameroon will play Algeria, the 2019 African champions, in a two-legged play-off for a spot in the World Cup in Qatar on March 25 and 29. Song has 137 appearances with the Indomitable Lions, having played in England, France, Italy, Germany, and Turkey during his club career. He appeared in four World Cups and won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2000 and 2002. Song also served as the coach of Cameroon’s Under-21 team.
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