Wednesday Aug 07, 2019. 16:00
Just a few months away from the start of the new cycle of Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, surprise 2019 quarterfinalists Madagascar find themselves without a coach.
Frenchman Nicolas Dupuis led the team in their debut tournament at the finals in Egypt recently where they beat Nigeria and DR Congo on their way to the Last 8, but is now out of contract.
His deal ran out on July 31 and there is as yet no word of a new offer as the Malagasy Football Federation battles under a normalisation committee imposed by FIFA.
The 51-year-old, who also coaches amateur French fourth-tier side Fleury, said last month he was unsure about his future with the team and that does not appear to have become any clearer since.
“I’m someone loyal and my priority is Madagascar,” he said. “I don’t know if Madagascar’s priority is to keep me. It’s going to be difficult to do better next time.
“There’s a lot of work to be done in Madagascar. We have to use what we did to show that work pays off. We need to keep working otherwise it could just be a fleeting thing.”
Dupuis took over the national team in 2017 and transformed the side, reaching out to the diaspora in Europe to add talent as he qualified them for their first ever Nations Cup finals.
Madagascar have a bye through the first round of 2022 World Cup qualifiers and have been drawn in a pool with Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia and Niger in the 2021 Nations Cup preliminaries.