AFCON 2019: Cameroon fire Seedorf after knockout failure
Clarence Seedorf has been dismissed as coach of Cameroon after a disappointing Africa Cup of Nations campaign with the Indomitable Lions ended in the round of 16 against West African rivals Nigeria.
On Tuesday Cameroon’s Sports Minister Narcisse Mouelle Kombi declared on state television CRTV that Seedorf would not continue as head coach of the 2017 African champions with immediate effect because “he is not fit for the job.”
At the first serious hurdle, Cameroon were eliminated at the African Cup of Nations by neighbours Nigeria. In a spectacular game with plenty of defensive deficiencies, the Super Eagles edged the contest 3-2 to draw the curtain on Cameroon’s hopes of retaining their title after Seedorf’s team had finished second in Group F behind Ghana.
“I feel disappointment, obviously,” said Seedorf after the elimination. “Also some anger, because I felt we were a little tense at a few moments. But I have to appreciate the fighting spirit of my team; the players have done everything they could today.”
With little or no pedigree in the coaching business the 2018 appointment of the Dutchman, alongside his compatriot Patrick Kluivert, had been a surprise. He succeeded Belgian coach Hugo Broos who led Cameroon to Afcon glory in 2017, but exited following a disappointing Confederations Cup later that year.
The dismissal will further dent Seedorf’s coaching credentials after the 43-year-old enjoyed brief spells at Milan, Shenzhen and Deportivo La Coruna. His reign with Cameroon had been his longest yet as a coach, but the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations hosts have now chosen to embark on a different path. Cameroon had been slated to stage the current Africa Cup of Nations but were stripped off the hosting rights by governing body CAF over delays in preparations.