The Cameroon Football Federation sacked coach Clarence Seedorf and assistant Patrick Kluivert on Tuesday, the pair paying the price for the defending champions’ last 16 exit at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Cameroon crashed out 3-2 to Nigeria last Saturday, an exit the federation described as “premature” in its statement.
Former Dutch international Seedorf won just three of nine competitive games after taking over the Indomitable Lions alongside Kluivert last August.
Cameroon coach Clarence Seedorf refused to speculate on his future after the defending champions crashed out of the Africa Cup of Nations in the last 16 after Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Nigeria.
Odion Ighalo scored two goals and set up Alex Iwobi for the winner as Nigeria rallied from 2-1 down after Cameroon had struck twice in quick succession through Stephane Bahoken and Clinton Njie before-half time in Alexandria.
“Maybe you want to give us a few days,” Seedorf responded when asked his for his plans following a premature end to Cameroon’s title defence.
“The first thing is I’m very sorry for the boys. They have worked really hard and played well but this is football and only one can win in the end. It’s not so important in my future. The important thing is what we have built until now, we’ve improved in many aspects on and off the pitch.
“It’s a group that is very united. I hope the people at home can be proud of the fighting spirit we’ve shown. Obviously, the disappointment is really big but this is sport. This is the moment where everyone must say we are united and continue to work for the future.”
The former Dutch star has won just three of nine competitive games since taking over the Indomitable Lions alongside assistant Patrick Kluivert last August and struggled to convince he is the right man for the job.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute I’ve been working with this group, being in Africa especially. And we’ll see what comes in the future,” Seedorf said.
“I feel disappointment obviously and also some anger because I thought we were a little bit tense in a few moments, but I have to appreciate the players have done everything they could today. It was not enough.”
“I repeat that we will stay united and not throw away all the great work the team has done in the last months,” he added.
New Cameroon coach Clarence Seedorf has named France cap Paul-Georges Ntep in his first squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifier away against Comoros, but there is no place for two China-based stars.
Dutchman Seedorf, who was appointed on August 4 as the successor to Belgian Hugo Broos with compatriot Patrick Kluivert as his assistant, has left out both Benjamin Moukandjo and Christian Bassogog.
Moukandjo captained Cameroon during their victorious 2017 Cup of Nations campaign in Gabon, while winger Bassogog was the best player at the tournament.
Both play their club football in China, Moukandjo with Beijing Renhe and Bassogog with Henan Jianye.
They played in Cameroon’s 1-0 win over Morocco in the first round of qualifiers, in June last year.
Ntep is a notable call-up to the squad — the 26-year-old forward, who plays for Bundesliga club Wolfsburg, was born in Cameroon but has been capped twice by France.
However, as both caps were won in friendly matches in June 2015, he can still switch international allegiances.
Cameroon are competing in Cup of Nations qualifying Group B along with Morocco, Comoros and Malawi, even though they qualify automatically as hosts.
Cameroon squad to play Comoros on September 8
Goalkeepers: Fabrice Ondoa (Oostende/BEL), Andre Onana (Ajax/NED), Carlos Kameni (Fenerbahce/TUR)
Defenders: Collins Fai (Standard Liege/BEL), Felix Eboa Eboa (Guingamp/FRA), Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui (Slavia Prague/CZE), Ambroise Oyongo Bitolo (Montpellier/FRA), Yaya Banana (Panionios/GRE), Jerome Onguene (Red Bull Salzburg/AUT), Gaetan Bong (Brighton and Hove Albion/ENG), Allan Nyom (Leganes/ESP)
Midfielders: Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Fulham/ENG), Georges Mandjeck (Maccabi Haifa/ISR), Adrien Tameze (Nice/FRA), Pierre Kunde Malong (Mainz/GER)
Forwards: Edgar Salli (Nuremberg/GER), Fabrice Olinga (Mouscron/BEL), Vincent Aboubakar (FC Porto/POR), Stephane Bahoken (Angers/FRA), Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting (Stoke City/ENG), Karl Toko Ekambi (Villareal/ESP), Paul-Georges Ntep (Wolfsburg/GER), Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu (Young Boys/SUI)
Clarence Seedorf has been appointed head coach of the Cameroon national team, with his former Netherlands teammate Patrick Kluivert as his assistant, Cameroonian Minister of Sports Pierre Ismael Bidoung Mkpatt said on Saturday.
The two former AC Milan players take over from Belgian Hugo Broos, who left last year after the Indomitable Lions failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.
Seedorf has had little success as a coach, failing to last six months in any of his previous roles with Milan, Chinese side Shenzhen and Deportivo La Coruna.
The 42-year-old won four Champions League titles as a player, though, and made 87 international appearances.
Ex-Barcelona striker Kluivert has had plenty of experience as an assistant coach in his home country, including with the Dutch national side, and spent a year as the Paris Saint-Germain director of football.
Cameroon will host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations next June, where they will be the defending champions after lifting their fifth title in Gabon last year.