Cameroon coach Clarence Seedorf has insisted that his squad is open to all players no matter where they ply their trade.
His comments come after Benjamin Moukandjo retired from international football following Seedorf’s snubbed China-based players for his first squad.
Soon after Moukandjo’s retirement Seedorf included China-based striker Christian Bassagog on his list for upcoming games against Malawi.
“We follow all the players and we see a lot of talent out there. We try to bring in the best players for Cameroon,” Seedorf explained.
“Not just best in terms of talent but those who are motivated and who know what it means to play for this nation.
“Every player needs to be happy and proud to play for Cameroon.”
The upcoming matches count as 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2019) qualifiers for Malawi but not for the Indomitable Lions, who have qualified automatically as hosts.
Seedorf, who drew his first match in charge 1-1 with Comoros last month, says he is already building a team for next year’s finals.
“Some players think they can wait a month until the 2019 AFCON before making decision but that’s not going to happen,” he explained.
“We want to build a solid and title winning side, that’s why the team is open to all.”
He went onto say it was a shame that Moukandjo, who skippered the Indomitable Lions to a fifth African title in 2017, had decided to retire.
“It’s a pity that Benjamin decided to retire,” Seedorf insisted.
“When I talked about players in Asia, I meant the young talented ones and this wasn’t particularly about him or any other player, that’s why Christian Bassogog is in the team.”
Seedorf says he is in talks with Liverpool defender Joel Matip about a possible return to the Indomitable Lions.
Matip quit international football after the 2014 World Cup has turned down recent call ups to the squad.
“Matip is a very good player and we spoke to him before the game against Comoros,” he explained.
“He was injured and unavailable, but we have continued talking to him. We don’t want to rush with him.
“Matip asked for some time to get back in shape and that’s very important. He is a player we’re optimistic about and we’ll see what the future brings.”
Seedorf has convinced Paul-George Ntep and Jerome Onguene to switch allegiances from France to Cameroon and the coach is upbeat he can persuade more players to make a switch for the Lions.
“We have spoken to several talented players who were born in France, Switzerland and other European countries,” the Dutchman explained.
“We have told them why it’s important to play for Cameroon – some of these players didn’t say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.
“They just said they will think about it but for us to know their readiness and willingness to play for this great nation.”
One player with the dilemma is Dimitri Oberlin he has withdrawn from Seedorf’s squad in order to play for Switzerland’s under-21 side.
The 21-year-old was born in Cameroon but moved to Switzerland aged nine and even if he plays for the under-21 side he can still decide to swap national allegiances.
Clarence Seedorf is hoping to record his first win at the helm of the Indomitable Lions after a shocking 1-1 against Comoros in his first game as Cameroon’s coach in September.
The 2019 AFCON qualifier against Malawi in Yaounde on 12 October will be Clarence Seedorf’s first home game as Cameroon manager.
American Football: Game Stopped to Mark Brees Record
New Orleans Saints’ game against Washington Redskins was temporarily stopped to celebrate their quarterback Drew Brees breaking Peyton Manning’s career passing yards record.
Brees, 39, needed 201 yards to overtake Manning (71,940) and did so in the second quarter when he found Tre’Quan Smith for a 62-yard touchdown.
The game was then halted and Brees was given the record-breaking ball.
“I will remember that one for a long time,” he said.
“It has truly been a dream come true. Truly proud and very grateful.”
Brees tossed 363 yards in the 43-19 win over the Redskins as he took his career yards total to 72,103 yards.
“I don’t know if that will ever sink in,” Brees added.
“I didn’t set out on this journey to break these records.
“I just play because I love the game and I love to compete and I love being part of this organisation.”
In a pre-taped message, Manning said: “All your hard work and dedication has paid off. Congratulations and I’m proud of you.”
Brees, who is in his 18th NFL season, led the Saints to victory in the 2009 season Super Bowl and was the MVP of the game.
He has 499 career touchdown passes, which is one short of joining Manning, Brett Favre and New England’s Tom Brady in reaching 500. Brady reached the milestone last week.
“I still feel like there’s work to be done,” Brees said.
Kenyan Coach Wins Arsenal/WorldRemit Coaching Programme
Arsenal FC and its official online money transfer partner, WorldRemit, on Tuesday announced that Hamisi Mohamed from Nairobi, Kenya has won the public vote determining the winner of their Future Stars programme.
Competing against five other youth football coaches from across Africa, Mohamed secured over 35 per cent of the votes on futurestars.worldremit.com to win the chance to train with coaches from Arsenal Soccer Schools.
He will now prepare to travel to London to attend a customised training programme to support him in building a legacy of positive social impact through football in Kenya.
Known locally as Coach Kaka, Mohamed is one of the founders of Young Talents Soccer Academy, a mixed academy in Embul Bul, Ngong.
The academy aims to help children to succeed both on and off the pitch.
Reflecting the shared values of the two companies, the Future Stars programme was set up by WorldRemit together with Arsenal to acknowledge and reward the valuable contribution of youth coaches to their local communities.
“Our business is all about helping our customers’ financial support for their community to go further,” WorldRemit Managing Director Middle East & Africa, Andrew Stewart, said
“The work of all the coaches in the Future Stars programme has reinforced our belief in the immense potential of sport to inspire positive change and encouraged us to explore further opportunities to support the communities we serve through sport.
“We hope that this programme will encourage others to follow their example and that this will be only the beginning of a much longer story.”
On his own part, Simon McManus of Arsenal Soccer Schools said: “Arsenal itself is an example of how the social impact of football can grow from a small local community to an international programme.
“It is inspiring to us to see how coaches across Africa are using the power of football to support and educate children at the grassroots level and I think there is a lot we can also learn from them.”