Not the best start! Cameroon head coach Rigobert Song struggles to pronounce the names of his players as he announces 26-man squad for Qatar just days after Samuel Eto’o tipped his side to WIN the World Cup
- Rigobert Song was announcing the Cameroon squad to a press conference
- He struggled to pronounce a number of the players’ names in front of the media
- Comes days after Samuel Eto’o tipped the side to win the competition in Qatar
Rigobert Song appeared to make an odd start to Cameroon’s final World Cup preparations as he struggled to pronounce the names of various members of his squad when announcing his final 26-man list.
Announcing the squad last week, Song, who appeared at four editions of the tournament for his country over 16 years, making 137 appearances for Cameroon across his career, tripped over a number of names with members of the media present – and his assistant coach, Augustine Simo – being forced to step in at various intervals.
Souaibou Marou, one of only two players in the squad to play their football in the country’s domestic league, appeared to be the name that Song struggled with the most.
Rigobert Song toiled over names as he announced the country’s squad for Qatar last week
The Cameroon head coach had to be aided by his own assistant and various members of the media watching on
‘Souaidabou,’ he could initially be heard saying before there was some clamour from the press sat in front of him.
Song then managed to get the pronunciation right, thanking the press for their assistance. Throughout the process, Cameroon’s head coach, who was only appointed earlier this year after Antonio Conceicao was disposed of, appeared uneasy and looked to his right on various occasions.
The press conference then took a slightly odd term with Song appearing to um and argh over the names on the list for a few seconds before his assistant leans in to point at the sheet of paper in front of him.
Flanked by his assistant manager, Song had to be aided with one name in particular
There has been some speculation in the country that Song himself, who has only been in charge for six games, did not select the squad.
‘Strange to see a coach struggling with the names of players on his own list,’ Sport News Africa wrote in reaction to the bizarre press conference.
TyC News speculated that Samuel Eto’o could have exerted undue influence over the squad selection.
The side have been tipped by the country’s president of the football association, Samuel Eto’o, to go all the way in Qatar
Despite Song’s difficulties in pronouncing some of the names, Eto’o, who is president of the country’s football association, has set them lofty targets for the World Cup which begins in less than a week on November 20.
Eto’o told ESPN: ‘Africa has always had the potential to achieve a successful World Cup, but we haven’t always shown our best face up to now.
‘During the years, African teams have acquired more and more experience, and I think they’re ready not only to participate in a World Cup, but also to win it.
‘Cameroon will win the World Cup final against Morocco.’
Song’s side are likely to have a tough job of making it out of their group after being drawn with Switzerland, Serbia and Brazil in Group G.
Eto’o – the president of the Cameroonian football federation – made the bold claim ahead of the tournament getting underway in just over a week
Squad in full
Goalkeepers: Devis Epassy, Simon Ngapandouetnbu, Andre Onana.
Defenders: Jean-Charles Castelletto, Enzo Ebosse, Collins Fai, Olivier Mbaizo, Nicolas Nkoulou, Tolo Nouhou, Christopher Wooh.
Midfielders: Martin Hongla, Pierre Kunde, Olivier Ntcham, Gael Ondoua, Samuel Oum Gouet, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa.
Forwards: Vincent Aboubakar, Christian Bassogog, Eric-Maxime Choupo Moting, Souaibou Marou, Bryan Mbeumo, Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu, Jerome Ngo, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, Jean-Pierre Nsame, Karl Toko Ekambi.
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