By Atia Tilarious Azohnwi
Former Dutch international midfielder Clarence Seedorf has been unveiled as the new coach of Cameroon and will be assisted by former team mate and compatriot Patrick Kluivert, Sports Minister Pierre Ismael Bidoung Mkpatt has announced.
News of the appointment of the duo came at a news conference on Saturday and comes after talks with former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson failed to reach an agreement.
Seedorf takes over from the Belgian Hugo Broos, who led the side to a surprise victory at the 2017 African Nations Cup finals but was axed in November after failing to win a place at the World Cup in Russia.
Alexandre Belinga had been acting as caretaker coach since.
Cameroon will defend their Nations Cup title on home soil in June next year, a first major finals test for the new management team.
Seedorf, 42, will take on his first national team job having had limited experience in coaching following brief spells with AC Milan, Chinese side Shenzhen and Deportivo La Coruna.
He led those teams in a total of 52 games, but is revered for an illustrious playing career, most notably at Ajax Amsterdam, Real Madrid and AC Milan, winning the Champions League with each club.
He was also capped 87 times by the Netherlands between 1994 and 2008.
Former striker Kluivert’s playing career also included Ajax, where he was a Champions League winner with Seedorf, Milan and most notably Barcelona where he spent six seasons.
He was assistant coach to Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal between 2012 and 2014, and was later briefly in charge of Dutch Caribbean nation Curacao.
The Cameroon Football Federation have made no official announcement on the vacant head coach role, but coaches in Africa are regularly appointed by governments.
Since announcing the choice for the Lions coach, Minister Bidoung Mkpatt has been criticized for usurping the functions of the football association, FECAFOOT. Going by the statutes of the FA, it is in their powers to appoint a coach after clearance from the sports ministry.
Minister Bidoung Mkpatt only made the announcement but failed to give details of the contracts. It is expected that the employment contracts will be signed when the duo arrive Cameroon.
Sources friendly to The SUN say Clarence Seedorf and Patrick Kluivert are not the choice of the minister. Both football technicians were proposed by the Normalisation Committee of FECAFOOT after those on the shortlist failed to agree to take the job.