Former star player Rigobert Song has been named as head coach of the Cameroon national team, replacing Toni Conceicao, on the orders of the country’s president, the sports minister said on Monday.
Portugal’s Conceicao has led Cameroon into the play-offs of World Cup qualifying and took them to a third-placed finish at the Africa Cup of Nations on home soil last month.
Sports minister Narcisse Mouelle Kombi said Cameroonian President Paul Biya has ordered the national football federation to give the job to ex-Liverpool defender Song.
“On very high instructions from the President of the Republic, the coach of the men’s national football team, Mr Antonio Conceicao, has been replaced by Rigobert Song,” Kombi said in a statement.
“The Cameroonian Football Federation is invited to take the necessary measures for a rapid and harmonious implementation of these very high directives.”
Fecafoot has confirmed “the end of the contract” of Conceicao.
Cameroon face 2019 African champions Algeria in a two-legged play-off for a place at the World Cup in Qatar later this year on March 25 and 29.
Song, who played in England, France, Italy, Germany and Turkey during his club career, is the Indomitable Lions’ all-time leading appearance maker with 137.
Song was also the coach of the Cameroon Under-21 side.
The 45-year-old played 137 matches for the Indomitable Lions with five goals to his name and he also helped them win the 2000 and 2002 Africa Cup of Nations titles followed by a final place in the 2003 Fifa Confederations Cup. He also played in four World Cups
Song will be assisted by former Kenya and Congo coach Sebastien Migne alongside five other backroom staff.