Madagascar Suspend Coach Just Before World Cup Qualifiers

Madagascar have suspended coach Nicolas Dupuis just weeks before they kick off of the group phase of their 2022 World Cup qualifying bid.

“Mr. Nicolas Dupuis, Malagasy national football coach is suspended until further notice and will not be paid during the period of suspension,” the Malagasy Football Federation said in a statement.

Eric Rabésandratana has been named as interim coach for the matches in June against Benin and Tanzania.

Madagascar also have the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Group J of the qualifiers.

The statement accused the 53-year-old Frenchman of “engagement with several other entities without prior authorisation from the federation” and of “interference in the selection process of the equipment supplier for the national team”.

Dupuis led Madagascar to their first ever Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt in 2019 where they upset the odds to reach the quarter-finals.

He was named technical director, as well as coach, after that but Madagascar failed last month to qualify for the next Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon after losing heavily in Ethiopia and then being held at home by Niger in their last two qualifiers.

French-born Rabésandratana is a former Paris St Germain captain and played for France at under-21 level but has limited coaching experience, having worked in the lower leagues in the U.S.


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