Cameroon have suspended French
coach Denis Lavagne, less than a year after he took the helm of
the national team, following an embarrassing defeat to
lowly-ranked Cape Verde, Cameroon's state television said on
Cameroon, four-times winners of the Africa Cup of Nations, are
in danger of missing out on a place at the next finals in South
Africa after losing 2-0 to the tiny Atlantic archipelago nation
in Praia on Saturday, in the first leg of the final round of
Lavagne had been suspended with full pay until the end of
his contract in October, the television said.
Jean Paul Akono, who led Cameroon's squad to Olympic gold in
Sydney 2000, has been appointed as interim coach, with Martin
Ntoungou Mpile as assistant.
The appointment is Akono's second stint as head coach of the
team after briefly holding the position from 2000 to 2001.
Cameroon, who host the Cape Verdians on Oct. 13 and have
long been one of the dominant forces in African football, missed
out on the last Nations Cup.
They were the first African country to reach the World Cup
quarter-finals and won Olympic gold in Sydney in 2000.
However, instability at the helm of the team - 11 different
coaches have been in charge since Akono was removed in 2001 -
has been accompanied by a long stretch of poor form.
Administrative bungles have prompted players to strike over
pay and led to key players being suspended. Striker Samuel Eto'o
last month declined to make a comeback for the team after an
eight-month suspension because of what he called "amateurish and
Angry fans demonstrated outside the offices of Cameroon's
football federation after the defeat to Cape Verde, prompting
authorities to deploy police and military personnel.
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