Cameroon’s German coach Winfried Schafer said Saturday he had been offered a two-year contract extension with the ‘Indomitable Lions’ despite their first-round World Cup exit.
Schafer said he was considering the proposal.
He had previously hinted that a parting of the ways might be imminent after the African and Olympic champions had slid out on the back of a disappointing draw with Ireland, a narrow win over Saudi Arabia and then a 2-0 loss to the Germans.
After noting that Germany had beaten Paraguay by the skin of their teeth to reach the quarter-finals on Saturday, Schafer said his team could also have overcome the South Americans.
Schafer blasted poor preparation and a chaotic trip to Asia which saw the Cameroon team’s arrival delayed by more than two days following an alleged dispute over bonus payments and the absence of flyover permits for Southeast Asia.
« I am so angry when I see who is still left in the tournament. You get maybe twice in your lifetime a chance to go really far and thanks to our organisational mistakes Cameroon let this chance slip.
« We would not have been afraid against Paraguay. The Germans were physically stronger and deserved to win, » he told reporters.
Despite his anger at poor organisation, the players pledged their allegiance to Schafer and is also believed to be favoured by Cameroon’s Minister for Sport, Bidung Mpkatt.
The 52-year-old, formerly coach of Karlsruhe and VfB Stuttgart, is believed to be seeking a four-year deal as he looks to blood a new generation of players with an eye on the 20006 World Cup in Germany.
He now intends to persuade several stars from the 1990 World Cup squad which became the only African side ever to reach the quarter-finals to help scout for young talent and has also demanded more training pitches.
But Schafer wants to go even further than that.
« With regard to the 2006 finals we must find some 12 to 15 year olds and keep them in the country. We must offer them perspectives so that they don’t get conned by vague promises from agents.
« Then when they go to Europe at 17 or 18 the Federation can get some money in return which it can invest in improving its infrastructure. »
Schafer’s current deal with the Cameroon Football Federation ends on June.
One factor in Schafer’s eventual decision on whether to take the new offer is the outcome of a presidential election on June 23.
« I hope that Bidung Mpkatt remains minister for sport and youth. He has a heart for football in Cameroon, » said Schafer, who is now on leave until the end of June.
Contract negotiations will continue on his return.