Posted: Thursday May 23, 2013 8:16 AM

Germany's Volker Finke appointed coach of Cameroon

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DOUALA, Cameroon (AP) -Volker Finke has been appointed coach of the Cameroon national team to replace Jean-Paul Akono, taking charge of the struggling African power.

The 65-year-old German was announced as Akono's successor on state television and radio on Thursday, although the Cameroon Football Federation said he would take over "gradually.''

Federation spokesman Raphael Nkoa said Finke would work alongside Akono and his current coaching team for the friendly against Ukraine and World Cup qualifiers against Togo and Congo next month before taking sole charge.

Cameroon was already looking for a new head coach before Akono suffered a mild heart attack this weekend. He is reported to be recovering.

Former France coach Raymond Domenech was believed to be among five candidates interviewed before Finke was announced as the new coach. Two other Frenchmen, Antoine Kombouare and Pierre Lechantre, were also thought to have been considered. Lechantre won the African Cup with Cameroon in 2000.

Finke has coached in Germany and Japan and was recently the sporting director for Senegal's national team. He takes over a Cameroon team struggling recently amid huge expectation at home because of its 1990 World Cup breakthrough, when the team reached the quarterfinals, and four African Cup of Nations titles.

Cameroon has not qualified for the past two African Cups and has now had four coaches in three years since Paul Le Guen left after the 2010 World Cup. The country failed to make the African Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial in 2012 and again in South Africa this year.

Cameroon leads its group in World Cup qualifying by one point from Libya but faces tests away in Togo on June 9 and Congo a week later.
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