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Cameroon dump coach Finke weeks ahead of World Cup qualifier

Reuters , Friday 30 Oct 2015
Finke
Cameroon's coach Volker Finke looks on before their international friendly soccer match against Germany in Moenchengladbach, June 1, 2014. (Photo: Reuters)
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German Volker Finke has been axed as coach of the Cameroon national team, the country's football federation announced on Friday.

The decision was taken at an executive meeting of the Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot), where Alexandre Belinga was placed in temporary charge of the side.

Finke's contract with Fecafoot expired several weeks ago and will not be renewed after a number of disappointments over the past 18 months.

The decision to remove Finke comes two weeks before the side begin their qualification campaign for the 2018 World Cup in Russia with a two-legged second round tie against Niger.

A statement on Fecafoot's website (www.fecafoot-officiel.com), that was signed by president Tombi A Roko Sidiki who took over the reins of the federation last month, did not give reasons for the decision but said it had been made in consultation with the country's new sports minister, Bidoung Mpkatt.

Finke, 67, led Cameroon in their abysmal World Cup campaign in Brazil last year where they lost all three matches and were criticised for petulant behaviour that included an on-field spat between Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Benjamin Moukandjo.

They were also knocked out in the first round of the African Nations Cup finals in Equatorial Guinea earlier this year, but had made a 100 percent start to the qualification campaign for the 2017 tournament after two games.

Belinga will be assisted by former Cameroon international Bonaventure Djonkep, who was part of the squad that reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 1990.

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