• Thursday, June 20, 2024
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BusinessDay

Cameroon FA sacks Marc Brys after heated argument with Eto’o

Samuel-etoo-Marc Brys

Marc Brys has been sacked as head coach of Cameroon before overseeing a single match, following a heated argument with Samuel Eto’o, the president of Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot).

Martin Ndtoungou was named as interim boss of the Indomitable Lions following an emergency meeting of Fecafoot’s executive committee.

A statement from the governing body cited “disrespectful comments” by Brys and “an outright refusal to collaborate” among several reasons for replacing the Belgian, as well as “inappropriate behaviour” by the coach and his assistants.

Cameroon’s football crisis deepened when a meeting between Eto’o and the newly appointed Belgian coach escalated into a tense altercation.

Brys had been invited for a “working session” as part of the preparations for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. However, several of his support staff, appointed by the sports ministry, were barred from entering the Fecafoot headquarters in Yaoundé.

Video footage circulating on social media shows a cordial welcome by Eto’o that quickly devolves into a contentious exchange. This was the first meeting between Eto’o and Brys, who was appointed by the sports ministry in early April without any input from Fecafoot, setting the stage for conflict.

Following an emergency meeting of Fecafoot’s executive committee, Martin Ndtoungou was named interim coach of the Indomitable Lions.

The federation’s statement cited “disrespectful comments” by Brys, his “outright refusal to collaborate,” and “inappropriate behaviour” by both Brys and his assistants as reasons for the dismissal.

Brys’s appointment had initially surprised Fecafoot, who claimed the decision was made unilaterally by the sports ministry. Eto’o had reportedly prepared his own list of high-profile candidates for the role and was not present at Brys’s unveiling.

The dramatic meeting at Fecafoot’s offices saw a fiery exchange between Eto’o and Brys, with videos showing Brys leaving the premises shortly after the confrontation. Eto’o, president of Fecafoot since December 2021, was also seen arguing with a sports ministry official.

The sports ministry has yet to comment on this latest power struggle with Fecafoot. The turmoil comes just ahead of Cameroon’s qualifiers for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, with matches against Cape Verde on June 8 and Angola on June 11.

Interim coach Ndtoungou, 66, is expected to announce his squad for the qualifiers during a news conference on Thursday.

The Indomitable Lions currently leads Group D with four points from two games, with the group winners guaranteed a place at the finals in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.