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African coaches lead all the home nations in Qatar for the first time

For the first time, the African teams in the World Cup will be handled by local coaches – all former national team players.

Aliou Cisse, the man in charge of Africa Cup of Nations champions Senegal, leads four other coaches to football’s grandest stage, seeking to go past the quarter-final stage for the first time since doing so in the 2002 tournament hosted by South Korea and Japan.

The other African coaches taking their home nations to the World Cup are Jalel Kadri (Tunisia), Walid Regragui (Morocco), Rigobert Song (Cameroon) and Otto Addo (Ghana).
Ghana, Senegal and Cameroon are the only African teams to have reached the quarter finals.

Cameroon is the African country with the most appearances. The Indomitable Lions will be competing in the tournament for the eighth time, hoping to surpass its quarter-final performance in the 1990 edition held in Italy.

Jalel Kadri- Tunisia

Following coaching stints with clubs across Tunisia and Saudi Arabia, the 50-year-old was recalled in June 2021 to assist then head coach Mondher Kebaier.

As Kebaier’s assistant in June 2021, he travelled with the team to the 2021 Afcon in Egypt, where he took over duties of head coach in the round of 16 because Kebaier contracted Covid-19.

Nana Otto Addo-Ghana

The 46-year-old was born in Germany to Ghanaian parents. Addo turned down a chance to represent Germany in the 1990s to turn out for the Black Stars.

Having been in the camps of Borussia Dortmund and Schalke in various technical posts, Addo joined Ghana’s in February last year as an assistant to Serb Milovan Rajevic. He was appointed caretaker coach following Rajevic’s dismissal after the Black Stars suffered a first-round elimination at the 2022 Afcon in Cameroon.

Aliuo Cisse-Senegal

Cisse, 46, captained Senegal to the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup, beating defending champions France along the way. As a player, Cisse was widely-travelled, having plied his trade in the French top-flight league with Lille, PSG and Montpellier before joining Birmingham City and Portsmouth in England.

He is coaching Senegal to a second consecutive World Cup.

He captained Teranga Lions to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 2002.

Rigobert Song-Cameroon

Song, 47, made his name in the junior ranks of the national team before making 137 appearances for the Indomitable Lions in World Cups.

He has played in eight editions of Afcon, five of those as captain. He holds the record of being the youngest player to have played at the World Cup at the age of 17 after getting a surprise call-up by coach Henri Michel for the 1994 World Cup.

Walid Regragui – Morocco

The 47-year-old is the former coach of Al-Duhail (Qatar), Wydad AC and Fath Union Sport (both Morocco). He was was appointed as Morocco’s national team head coach after the dismissal of Vahid Halilhodzic in August this year.

By: Nation Media Group

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