Heads continue to roll following the dismal performance of the Indomitable Lions during the last edition of the African cup of Nations tournament in Angola. After the outing of seven players from the squad including emblematic figures like Song and Geremi; it is the turn of Thomas Nkono to loose his position as trainer of goalkeepers. Thomas Nkono who was at one time promoted to the rank of interim coach of the national team, seems to be paying the price for the poor performance of his protégé, Idriss Carlos Kameni, who conceded eight goals in four encounters during the Angolan expedition.
Nkono is reported to have remained adamant in his support for Kameni despite criticisms from the public and the Minister of Sports and Physical Education prior to the quarter final match against Egypt, thereby endorsing responsibility for the premature ousting of the Lions from the competition. Even after the tournament, Thomas Nkono, reiterated support for Kameni who many Cameroonians hold responsible for the elimination of Cameroon, saying the player had family problems which contributed to his poor performance. it is worthy to note that Thomas Nkono has always had a special liking for Kameni ever since the Sydney Olympics, maintaining him as first goalkeeper of the national team even when the latter did not have a club.
The appointment of Jacques Songo’o is an omen for the departure of Carlos Kameni as first goalkeeper of the national given that the new goalkeeper coach is said to have a soft spot for Kameni’s rival, Soulemanou whom he maintained as first goalkeeper in 2005-2006 when he assumed the function of goalkeeper coach. Should this come to be, the famous ‘1984’ would have made an exit from the national team and it would mark the beginning of a new era. Jacques Songo’o like Thomas Nkono before him is a former player with the national team. He was goalkeeper with the Lions from 1983 to 2002 but his stay at the national team was obscured by the performances of two emblematic goalkeepers, Thomas Nkono and Bell Joseph Antoine. He played for Dragon Douala and Canon Yaounde before moving to France where he played for Toulouse, Le Mans and Metz. He later on moved to Deportivo La Corogne where he retired from active play. As a player, Jacques Songo’o is winner of the French ‘coupe de la ligue’ in 1996 with Metz and was champion of the Spanish league in 2000. Though not a regular player, Songo’o is holder of two African Cup of Nations titles in 1988 and 2002.