Soccer-Congo drop Brazilian coach weeks before key qualifiers

PUBLISHED: Fri, 05 Mar 2021 05:52:40 GMT

BRAZZAVILLE, March 5 (Reuters) – Former Brazil international Valdo Filho has not had his contract as national coach of Congo renewed, just weeks before vital Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

The Congo Football Federation said it had decided against offering an extension to the 57-year-old, whose contract ends on March 18, but did not give any reason.

Congo are well placed to qualify for next year’s Cup of Nations finals, sitting second in Group I with seven points from their first four matches. It is five less than already-qualified Senegal but four more than Guinea Bissau, who are in third place. The top two teams in the group qualify.

Congo host Senegal on March 26 in their penultimate qualifier and then finish the campaign away at Guinea Bisaau four days later.

The Congo Football Federation said on Thursday it had appointed Barthelemy Ngatsono as coach for the two games.

Congo were last at the Cup of Nations finals in 2015, when they reached the quarter-finals but failed to qualify for the last two editions.

Valdo went to two World Cups with Brazil and played for Benfica and Paris St Germain. He was appointed Congo coach in 2018. (Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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