12:30 PM UTC
Leg 1
Game Details

AWCON 2018: Can Cameroon avenge Nigeria heartache?

Game Details
Game Details

Can Cameroon finally get their hands on the AWCON?


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Clarence Seedorf continues tradition of Dutch coaches in Africa

The arrival of Clarence Seedorf and his assistant Patrick Kluivert in Cameroon to begin their tenure as coach and assistant respectively of the Indomitable Lions marks a renewal of a 30-year span of coaches from the Netherlands taking charge of African national teams.

The pair signed four-year deals, which include the proviso that they live in Cameroon, and have been tasked with ensuring Cameroon win the 2019 African Nations Cup on home soil, and qualify for both the 2021 edition and the next World Cup in Qatar in 2022.

The duo start their new job next month with a qualifier against the Comoros Islands, after replacing the Belgian Hugo Broos who took Cameroon to the last Nations Cup title but then failed to reach the World Cup in Russia.

Initially, Cameroon looked to have chosen Sven-Goran Eriksson, and the former England manager even travelled to Yaounde for talks with the sports ministry only for talks to fall through.

The 42-year-old Seedorf has had limited experience as coach of AC Milan, Shenzhen FC in China and Deportivo la Coruna, spending less than a year in each post.

However, as a player, he won the Champions League with Ajax, Real Madrid and Milan and between 1994 and 2008 played 87 times for the Dutch national team.

Kluivert, who is also 42, was Louis van Gaal's assistant with the Netherlands from 2012 to 2014, including the World Cup in Brazil, and was then national coach of Curacao.

He was also a Champions League winner with Ajax and played at Barcelona and Milan.

The duo follow in the footsteps of several high-profile Dutch coaches who also enjoyed stints in the African game.

CLEMENS WESTERHOF (Nigeria 1989-1994, Zimbabwe 1998-2000): The charismatic former MVV Maastricht coach was seen as something of a charlatan in his own country but enjoys hero status in Nigeria as the coach who qualified them for their first World Cup.

Just months before, he had taken the Super Eagles to the Nations Cup title, unearthing the likes of Austin Okocha and Emmanuel Amunike during his tenure.

His marriage to a Zimbabwean saw him arrive in Harare two years later, but he had a less successful stint with their national team.

Westerhof also won a court case against the South African Football Association who appointed him to be Bafana Bafana coach in 2000 but then reneged on the deal.

NOL DE RUITER (Egypt 1994-95): A former assistant to Rinus Michels, when the Dutch won the 1988 European Championship, he also coached his hometown club FC Utrecht to cup success.

In 1990, De Ruiter took charge of two matches of the Dutch side after Thijs Libregts had been fired. He spent six months in charge of Egypt during the 1996 Nations Cup qualifying campaign.

RUUD KROL (Egypt 1995-96, Tunisia 2013): The former European Cup-winning captain of Ajax and also record caps holder for the Netherlands, first coached in Africa with Egypt, taking them to the Nations Cup in South Africa in 1996 where they reached the quarter finals.

In 2013, Tunisia asked him to be caretaker for their two playoff matches against Cameroon to determine a place at the World Cup finals in Brazil but they lost over two legs. Now 69-years-old, he has just been appointed coach of Tunisian club CS Sfaxien.

JO BONFRERE (Nigeria 1995-96, 1999-2001): Bonfrere came to Africa originally as Westerhof's assistant but then took the job himself, guiding Nigeria's under-23 team to Olympic gold at the Atlanta Games in 1996.

He was also their coach for the 2000 Nations Cup, which Nigeria co-hosted with Ghana, and where the Super Eagles got to the final, only to lose on penalties to Cameroon.

Bonfrere qualified South Korea for the 2006 World Cup but was then fired before the tournament.

RINUS ISRAEL (Ghana 1997-98): Israel scored for Rotterdam giants Feyenoord when they won the European Cup in1970 and amassed almost 50 caps for the Netherlands.

He also coached Feyenoord and went to Ghana in 1997, leading them in the 1998 Nations Cup in Burkina Faso, where they failed to get past the first round.

He worked mainly in the Middle East after his nine-month sojourn in Africa.

THIJS LIBREGTS (Nigeria 1998-99): The former Feyenoord player and coach took over from Michels in 1988 as the Dutch national coach but, after qualifying for the 1990 World Cup, faced a player revolt led by Ruud Gullit and was dumped before the finals in Italy.

With Nigeria, he had just two games in charge in early 1999, beating Burundi and drawing in Senegal.

JAN BROUWER (Zambia 2000-01): Brouwer qualified Zambia for the 2002 Nations Cup but left before the finals in Mali because he received a one-year suspension from the Confederation of African Football for insulting a match official.

He had arrived from Volendam and later went to Angola where he won the GiraBola with Primeiro do Agosto.

ARIE HAAN (Cameroon 2006-07): The former midfielder was part of the all-conquering Ajax side that won three successive European Cups from 1971 and 1973 and who played at the 1974 and 1978 World Cups, where the Dutch finished runners-up on both occasions.

He coached in the Bundesliga and Greece before becoming national-team coach of China in 2002.

Haan coached two games for the Indomitable Lions in 2006, winning both with 3-0 scorelines, butt then quit after citing interference from the Cameroon FA president.

ARIE SCHANS (Namibia 2007-08): A coach at amateur level in the Netherlands, Schans went to Bhutan to coach and featured in a documentary film called 'The Other Final' about the meeting between the two lowest ranked teams at the same time as the 2002 World Cup final.

He was Namibia coach for six months before moving onto various role in club football in China.

RENE FELLER (Eritrea 2007-08, Rwanda 2008): Feller was pottery salesman who got a coaching job in Kuwait after being rejected by the Dutch football association for a coaching course and went on to coach Eritrea and Rwanda briefly.

He also worked at Ethiopian club Saint George, and has written a book called 'The black sheep of the KNVB'.

MART NOOIJ (Mozambique 2007-10, Tanzania 2014-15): Starting out as a development trainer with the KNVB, polyglot Nooij went to Burkina Faso and qualified their team for the U-20 World Cup in 2003.

That led to the job in Mozambique, where he qualified the Mambas, after a long absence, for the 2010 Nations Cup finals in Angola.

With Tanzania his tenure was less successful but last year he took Saint George to the group stage of the CAF Champions League for the first time.

JAN MAK (Seychelles 2008, 2010, 2013-14): Mak was coach of Volendam but then left to work in Sweden, where he has spent the majority of his career.

He has helped the Seychelles on three separate occasions in various qualifying campaigns because of a close relationship with former CAF vice president Suketu Patel, who hails from the Indian Ocean island nation.

PIETER DE JONGH (Swaziland 2017-18): A former youth coach in the Netherlands, De Jongh has been wandering the world since going to Moldova six years ago.

From there he worked in Hungary, Kenya, South Africa and Mongolia before arriving in the small southern African kingdom.

He was appointed Swazi coach in March last year, but 11-month spell was terminated in February.


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