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Madagascar suspended Friday Nicolas Dupuis, the French coach who led the Malagasy selection to the quarterfinals during its debut in the Africa Cup of Nations two years ago, and replaced him temporarily by Eric Rabesandratana.

According to a statement from the Malagasy Football Federation (FMF), the 53-year-old coach “is suspended until further notice and will not be paid during the period of suspension.

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

The statement accused Dupuis of “interfering in the selection process of the national team’s equipment supplier”. The Moulins native is in open conflict with FMF president Raoul Arizaka Rabekoto, who obtained his ouster against the advice of part of his federation’s executive committee.

In a letter notifying him of his decision, Raoul Arizaka Rabekoto, himself wanted by the Malagasy justice for corruption and in exile abroad since February 2020, blames the Frenchman for his interference in “the management of administrative, commercial and financial affairs” of the FMF.

The technician at the helm of the Malagasy national team since March 2017 made a name for himself on the international scene with victories over Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo at the 2019 African Cup of Nations (CAN), before losing in the quarterfinals to Tunisia.

Madagascar needed a win over Niger last month to secure a second consecutive CAN appearance, but could only manage a 0-0 draw at home and thus failed to secure a ticket to the competition, which will be held in Cameroon in January and February 2022.

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