Leopards boss fired after Downs loss

CAF Champions League

Rafael Dudamel is the new coach of his South American nation, who are battling in the early stages of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

But Lamine Ndiaye, the well travelled Senegalese coach, has been fired by his Congolese club after Sundowns knocked them out of the African Champions League.

The 43-year-old Dudamel, who played 54 times for Venezuela, replaces Noel Sanvincente, who quit last week after a 4-1 home loss to Chile left Venezuela bottom of South America’s World Cup qualifying section with one point from six games.

Laureano Gonzalez, president of the FVF, said that the new manager, who will stay on until 2017, “is young, with a defined personality”.

Dudamel faces an uphill battle to get Venezuela back on track amid financial troubles.

The top four teams in the South American qualifiers get an automatic place at the World Cup in Russia, while the fifth-placed side go into an intercontinental playoff.

Dudamel had a relatively unspectacular time in the Premier Soccer League, arriving soon after compatriot Jose Torrealba, but played just seven games in the 2005/06 season, as he had to compete with Andre Arendse and Brian Baloyi for a place in the Sundowns team.

At Sundowns he was brought to the club by Oscar Fullone, worked under Miguel Angel Cappa and then later Miguel Gamondi and Neil Tovey.

Ndiaye, who has previously worked at TP Mazembe, was given his marching orders after AC Leopards were beaten by Mamelodi Sundowns in the first round of the Champions League.

Guillaume Ilunga from neighbouring DR Congo takes over at the Dolisie-based club. Ilunga is a former assistant coach of the DR Congo national team.

Yesterday, Togo confirmed they fired former Free State Stars coach Tom Saintfiet.