The President of the South Sudan Football Association (SSFA), Francis Amin Michael has said they will not renew the contract of the national coach.
Ashu Cyprian Besong, the German-born Cameroonian took over as head coach of the Bright Star in 2019. His contract ended on June 30th, 2021.
“We are happy that Besong worked so hard to try and improve the national team. However we shall not renew his contract because we need to move to the next step,” Amin Michael told Sport News Africa.
The SSFA President explained that although South Sudan managed to improve in the FIFA rankings in the last two years when Besong was in-charge, they expected more from him and also qualify the team for the Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) among others.
“We did not qualify for any major competition under Besong and yet we played several matches. We now want to get a coach with more experience who can take the national team to the next level,” added the SSFA President.
During the AFCON qualifiers the South Sudan team only managed a 1-0 win against Uganda Cranes in a game played in Nairobi in Group B. They lost the away game to Uganda and lost two games each to Malawi and Burkina Faso.
Last month the South Sudan national team was forced to forfeit their preliminary match against Jordan in the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup after some of their players tested positive for COVID-19 while in Doha, Qatar ahead of the match. The team was isolated in Qatar and only returned to Juba few days ago.
But Besong believes that a lot of progress has been made since he took charge of the South Sudan national team. “I have been building the national team and there is a big difference from the time I took over,” added the coach.
“I will be ready for whatever the South Sudan Football body decides on my fate because this is the nature of coaching,” added Besong who as a player featured alongside Stefan Effenberg and Bachirou Salou at Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany.
South Sudan was first recognized by Fifa and the Confederation of African Football in 2012 a year after the country gained independence from Sudan and the creation of the football association.
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