Cameroon and Barcelona legend Samuel Eto’o has urged the continent’s federations to hand opportunities to local coaches instead of constantly looking for European ‘saviours’.
In the 17 years that four-time African footballer of the year played for the Indomitable Lions, he only worked with four local coaches but none of them lasted more than a year.
It’s not just the Indomitable Lions who believe that European coaches are superior, it’s a widely held notion on the continent at international and club level.
However, coaches such as Aliou Cisse of Senegal, who captained the Lions of Teranga in the 2002 World Cup and will lead them in Russia this year as head coach, inspire Eto’o to also join the choir of people who are calling for more local coaches not only being given the task of managing their national teams but also backed by the football governing bodies across the continent once they are at the helm.
“Africa has to believe in Africans,” Eto’o told reporters in South Africa.
“There are so many players who represent their countries at the highest level, they retire and get coaching badges but they are never given a chance in their own countries. Look at Aliou Cisse, he was given a chance and he has done well for his country. But this is my opinion and not that of Cameroon’s federation.
“What I would like to see is more belief on African talent in the coaching in the continent. We can do better with an African coach because they have a better understanding of where the players come from.”
Cameroon are looking for Hugo Broos’ replacement after they fired the Belgian in December following a poor showing in the FIFA Confederations Cup and failing to qualify for the World Cup.