Nicolas Dupuis, coach of the Madagascar national team, has said the country could become one-tournament hit, unless fundamental changes are carried out in their football.
The Indian Ocean Islanders proved their merit of becoming the first country in the continent to qualify for the 2019 AFCON, by reaching the quarter-finals on their debut at the tournament.
However, following their 3-0 defeat to Tunisia in the quarter-final on Thursday, who works at a French fourth tier club to supplement his income, warned that they still had a long way to go.
“There is a lot of work to do with Madagascar. We need to build on the work that has been done to show that hard work pays off, or this could just become a one-off,” said the Frenchman.
“It’s going to be difficult to do better next time.”
The country, with a population of 25 million people, has no football tradition. It lacks a professional league, basic football infrastructure, and all its top players are based abroad; with many in the French second tier.
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The country has never qualified for a World Cup, and never entered for qualification for the Cup of Nations qualifiers until 1980.
The country’s football federation is currently under FIFA intervention, after failing to hold federation elections in line with the statutes of the football governing body. It also does not have a federation.
Dupuis, who also doubles as coach of Fleury in the French fourth division because the salary he receives from Madagascar is not enough, said he was not sure whether he would stay in the post.
“I’m someone loyal and my priority is Madagascar,” he added.
“I don’t know if Madagascar’s priority is to keep me (but) it doesn’t matter much.”
“I have great affection for my players and for the country.
“I’m very touched by the support we have received from the Malagasy people, and the hundreds of people who have travelled here. I think it’s just fantastic.”