New Cameroon coach to beg Eto'o, Ekotto


New Cameroon coach, Jean-Paul Akono’s first order of business, will be to seek a return to the team of disaffected captain, Samuel Eto’o and defender Benoit Assou Ekotto, he said on Friday.

Akono said both were needed if Cameroon were to fight back from a two-goal deficit, and avoid embarrassing elimination from the next African Nations Cup finals at the hands of the tiny Cape Verde Islands.

Akono was appointed on Thursday to replace Frenchman Denis Lavagne, after the Indomitable Lions suffered a shock 2-0 defeat in the first leg of their final round qualifier last weekend.

“I want to work to fix all the conflicts that are within the team,” he told state radio on Friday, less than 24 hours after his appointment.

“We are going to have to forget all these issues if we are to avoid missing out on the Nations Cup finals again.”

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Eto’o, who has scored 53 goals in 106 internationals, refused to play in the match in Praia to highlight what he called amateurish organisation around the national team.

French-born Assou Ekotto has not played for Cameroon for 18 months because of similar complaints.

“This is a very short appointment and a somewhat difficult task, because we have to fight back from two goals down to qualify, which is difficult in this type of competition but not impossible,” Akono added.

Cameroon host the second leg in Yaounde on Oct. 13. The aggregate winner advances to the 2013 finals in South Africa from 19 January 19 to 10 February.

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