BY Afeseh Apong
As the saying goes, he who laughs last laughs best, 32_year_old Jean-Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, is definitely having the last laugh at Antonio Conceição, following news that the Portuguese tactician has been sacked and replaced by Rigobert Song, as coach of the indomitable lions of Cameroon.
Choupo Moting struggled under Conceiçao especially during the just ended African Nations Cup in Cameroon. The Bayern München forward played just 160 minutes for Cameroon at AFCON 2021, starting two games, and coming in as a substitute in two others.
Choupo Moting came in at the 69th minute to replace Karl Toko Ekambi in the opening game against Burkina Faso, Started the second game against Ethiopia and last 56 minutes and replaced by James Lea Siliki, Came in at the 70th minute against Cape Verde to replace Moumi Ngamaleu, Started against Comoros and lasted 63 minutes and was replaced by Clinton Njie. He didn’t play a role in the quarter final game against Gambia, and the semi final defeat against Egypt.
The former PSG man was named as Captain in the initial starting XI against Burkina Faso in the third place game, but decided to pull out of the game.
He later told the press that he would never play for the Cameroon National Team again, should Conceiçao remained as coach.
“To be honest, I talked to the coach before the game and I explained to him that I don’t feel free to play and this game was very important today and you need to have players on the pitch who are free in their minds and can give everything. To be honest I have been observing a lot of things for a while now especially in the quarter final and the semi final, the coach showed me that he is not counting on me.
“For me it was a kind of disrespect because I came here to help the team win the AFCON. I’m not a young 18_year_old player, I want to give everything, I want to play but at the end of the day I respect every decision from the coach, he is the boss but you don’t have to understand it. I didn’t agree with what he did and this is the reason I told him that I wasn’t free to play today but I will always be happy to represent Cameroon as my country, I’m proud to represent Cameroon, so it’s just difficult with this coach,” Choupo Moting said after the third place game against Burkina Faso.
Though Conceiçao repeatedly refused claims of a rift between him and Choupo Moting, the Father and agent of the Bayern Munich forward Camille Just Choupo Moting, revealed a series of incidence to prove that they actually existed a rift between the coach and player, and insisted that his son/client, would never play again under Conceiçao.
When Cameroon’s sports minister Narcisse Mouelle Kombi, initially declared that the Portuguese will continue as Cameroon’s coach, many predicted the end of Choupo Moting’s National Team career.
But no, there was always going to be a last laugh. The decision on Monday February 28 from both the minister of Sports Narcisse Mouelle Kombi and FECAFOOT president Samuel Eto’o, to appoint Song as the lion’s new gaffer, ended Conceiçao’s 29-months stay at the helm of the indomitable.
It now means that Choupo Moting would happily honor his next call ups to represent the indomitable lions, as his biggest “enemy” Conceiçao, has been flushed out.
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