YAOUNDE (Reuters) - Cameroon would be wasting money by hiring a foreigner to take charge of the national soccer team, the country’s former World Cup hero Roger Milla said on Monday after officials travelled to Europe for talks with prospective coaches.
“Up to now Jean-Paul Akono and his assistants have almost achieved their main mission of qualifying us for the World Cup in 2014. We don’t need a new coach, especially a foreigner,” Milla told reporters.
“We don’t want a foreigner who will request a huge monthly salary for a poor country like ours,” he added. “I think Akono should be left there to accomplish his mission.”
Milla’s outburst followed meetings a Cameroon Football Federation delegation had in Paris last week with former France manager Raymond Domenech and Antoine Kombouare, who last coached at Paris St Germain.
Planned talks with former England manager Sven Goran Eriksson, now working as an advisor in Dubai, did not go ahead.
Akono has been coach since September but worked without a contract and said last month he was “shocked and embarrassed” to hear state radio report that the sports ministry was seeking someone to replace him.
Cameroon, who have a slender lead over Libya and the Democratic Republic of Congo in African qualifying Group I, play two key World Cup qualifiers next month.
Milla, who played a major role in Cameroon becoming the first African country to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Italy in 1990, is a frequent critic of the way the national game is run.
Editing by Mark Gleeson and Clare Fallon