Madagascar suspend French coach who plotted downfall of Nigeria

·1-min read
A Madagascar player pours water over coach Nicolas Dupuis (C) after a shock victory over Nigeria at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Madagascar have suspended Nicolas Dupuis, the French coach who plotted a stunning victory over Nigeria when they debuted in the Africa Cup of Nations two years ago.

A national football federation statement said the 53-year-old "is suspended until further notice and will not be paid during the period of suspension".

France-born former Paris Saint-Germain captain Eric Rabesandratana has been named caretaker coach as Madagascar prepare for 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Benin and Tanzania in June.

The statement accused Dupuis of "engagement with several other entities without prior authorisation from the federation... and interference in the selection process of the national team equipment supplier".

Dupuis sprang to international prominence by guiding minnows Madagascar to victories over Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo at the 2019 Cup of Nations before losing to Tunisia in the quarter-finals.

Madagascar needed a victory over Niger last month to secure a second successive appearance at the Cup of Nations, but could only draw 0-0 at home and missed out.

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