Frenchman Henri Michel signed a contract on Friday to become coach of the Nzalang of Equatorial Guinea till the end of the African Cup of Nations 2012, both parties announced in Malabo.
Michel, who was coach of France in 1984 and 1988, signed the contract following negotiations initiated by his compatriot, Philippe Troussier, former coach of Cote d’Ivoire and Morocco. Troussier travelled to Malabo in November for the deal, but no explanation has been given for the final decision.
Michel’s contract has thirteen-month duration till after the CAN in February 2012, the Equatorial Guinea Secretary of State for Sports, Ruslan Obiang Nsue, who is also co-president of the Organising Committee of the 2012 CAN, declared at the press conference.
“We have signed a contract with a big coach. Henry Michel will be coming with three collaborators,” Obiang Nsue said.
On the mission of the new coach, he said: “His mission is to cross the first round of the competition. You know that Equatorial Guinea has never participated at the final phase of the CAN.
Michel replaces the Paraguayan, Carlos Lobo Diarte, who has managed Nzalang since 2009. According to officials of the Equato-Guinea Football Federation, the former coach has not worked with the team since last August for health reasons.
Henri Michel responded “My ambition is to create a solid team and succeed in the CAN.
“It’s an opportunity and needs the participation of everyone, thus the public must be patient,” he told the people of his Equatorial Guinea.
The signing of the contract with Michel represents a great day for Equatorial Guinean football, says the President of Feguifoot, Bonifacio Manga Obiang.
He revealed to AFP that the contract of the Frenchman indicates that he will receive 60.000 Euros per month for himself and his collaborators and he would take residence in the country.
“Henri Michel will receive 30,000 Euros monthly while his collaborators will take the rest. He will stay in Equatorial Guinea,” he said.
Manga Obiang mentioned last November 23 that the remuneration had been previewed to be 30,000 Euros in the contract Philippe Troussier prepared, which did not indicate that he will take residence in Equatorial Guinea.