The head coach of the Indomitable Lions, Rigobert Song, held a press conference yesterday to discuss the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Mauritius and Libya on November 17 and November 21, respectively.
Facing criticism since his appointment as the head coach of the Indomitable Lions, Song addressed his detractors during the conference. He defended his approach, particularly in the context of friendly matches, where the team had faced setbacks. He stated, “I wasn’t told to win the friendly matches, though that’s part of the preparation, that’s not what I’m interested in. I know what I’m looking for in these friendlies. The victory is not very important, but morally, it is good.”
Rigobert Song, who has been in charge for the past 18 months, emphasised the progress he has made with the national team. He said, “In the 18 months that I’ve been at the head of the national team, it’s true that you’ve been on the beaten track, but I’ve achieved the objectives of qualifying for the African Cup and the World Cup.”
Rigobert took over the coaching role shortly after Samuel Eto’o was elected president of Fecafoot and successfully led the Lions to qualify for both the recently concluded Qatar World Cup and the African Cup of Nations hosted by Cameroon. His predecessor, the Portuguese coach Antonio Conceicao, struggled to achieve these qualifications, which contributed to his early termination and subsequent legal battles with Fecafoot.
Rigobert Song, a Cameroonian football legend known for his defensive prowess during his playing career, was appointed as head coach based on his qualifications rather than any personal connections with Eto’o.
Prior to Rigobert’s appointment, Cameroon had faced challenges with coaching and participation in major competitions. Their most notable World Cup performance was in 1990, when they reached the quarterfinals after defeating Argentina, Romania, and Colombia.
Despite previous coaching difficulties, including under Clarence Seedorf and Hugo Broos, who won the Gabon AFCON in 2017, Rigobert Song has managed to elevate the standards of Cameroon’s football. His coaching tenure saw the Lions deliver an outstanding performance in the last World Cup tournament in Qatar, where they secured a dramatic victory over Brazil in the dying minutes of their match.
Yet, despite these accomplishments, Rigobert Song continues to face criticism.