Saturday May 01, 2021. 14:00
Madagascar have announced the suspension of national team coach Nicolas Dupuis just over a month before the start of their group phase campaign in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
Eric Rabésandratana will take over the Barea on an interim basis and be in charge for their WCQ Group J matches against Benin and Tanzania in the first half of June.
“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, as quoted by COSAFA’s official website.
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 famously led Madagascar to their first ever Africa Cup of Nations qualification, and then followed that up with a fine showing at the tournament in Egypt two years ago, as the Barea surprisingly reached the quarterfinals before being ousted by Tunisia.
However, Barea failed to qualify for the next AFCON finals in Cameroon next year, ending third in their group behind Ivory Coast and Ethiopia – with a 4-0 loss to the latter on March 24 the result which ultimately cost them the chance of a second continental tournament appearance.