Cameroon start search for Clemente successor

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Cameroon's football federation (FECAFOOT) have begun the search for a coach to replace Javier Clemente, saying the Spaniard had failed in his mission to get the Indomitable Lions through to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.

"It is very clear to everybody now that Clemente has failed in his chief mission since he failed to take the Lions to the Nations Cup next January in neighbouring Gabon and Equatorial Guinea," FECAFOOT spokesman Junior Binyam told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.

"The federation has stepped up efforts to get a new coach for the Lions before the end of this month so as to give him enough time to prepare the team to qualify for both the 2014 World Cup and 2013 African Nations Cup qualifiers."

Binyam said the federation had received many applications from within and outside the country and had already interviewed and held discussions with some candidates.

Three names would be submitted to the Minister of Sports and Physical Education next week for a final decision.

Media reports said Frenchman Denis Lavagne, coach of the country's champions Coton Sport, was the favourite but former international Patrick Mboma was also in the running.

Last month, FECAFOOT issued a statement denying it had done a deal for former France manager Raymond Domenech to take over the role from Clemente, who became manager after last year's World Cup.

Cameroon's failure to qualify for the Nations Cup was only the second time in the last 16 attempts that they have missed out on the African championships.