Madagascar head coach Nicolas Dupuis says he is sticking with the players who were involved in the qualifiers for the 2019 AFCON in Egypt and earned the nation a first-ever qualification for the tournament.
The Frenchman insists all those proposing or knocking to the join the team will be considered after the Africa Cup of Nations in July. Dupuis made the declaration following the surge in interest by players of Madagascar descent to represent the country at the tournament. Former France U16 defender Kenji-Van Boto is one of those reported to have expressed his interest. The 23-year-old Auxerre defender was born in Réunion with to a Malagasy father. He moved to France at the age of 15.
Dupuis, 51, needs the flexibility of a gymnast to prepare Madagascar for their first ever Cup of Nations on the one hand, while also trying to keep Fleury from being relegated to the fifth tier.
A training ground in the suburbs south of Paris, between a field and a railway line, is a long, long way from Madagascar.
Yet this is where Nicolas Dupuis, the coach of the Indian Ocean island state’s national football team, spends much of his time.
When the Frenchman is not leading Madagascar to the Africa Cup of Nations, he is taking charge of Fleury, a small club in the French fourth division.
Meanwhile, Dupuis will have to contend with a major setback to his AFCON 2019 plans after winger Zotsara Randriambololona was ruled out for six months with an injury. This means the 26-year-old will miss the 2019 AFCON.