Cup of Nations final coaches both locals for first time since 1998

SABC News Senegals Sadio Mane and teammates celebrate after the match R - Cup of Nations final coaches both locals for first time since 1998

The Africa Cup of Nations final between Algeria and Senegal in Cairo on Friday will pit local coaches against each other in a title decider for the first time in 21 years.

Algerian Djamel Belmadi and Senegalese Aliou Cisse are both former national team midfielders whose playing careers included spells with English clubs.

Belmadi was loaned to Manchester City from Marseille in 2003 and later had two seasons with Southampton.

While Cisse spent most of his career at French clubs, he also lined up for Birmingham City and Portsmouth.

Cisse is particularly desperate to win in Cairo as his missed shootout penalty in the 2002 final against Cameroon condemned Senegal to defeat in their only previous final appearance.

The last final featuring two African coaches was in 1998 when Egypt, coached by Mahmoud el Gohary, defeated Ephraim ‘Jomo’ Sono-coached South Africa 2-0 in Ouagadougou.

An endless debate among African football followers is the merits of local and foreign coaches and the Cup of Nations offers no help because foreigners have won 16 titles and locals 15.

Egyptian Hassan Shehata holds the record for consecutive triumphs with three and Ghanaian Charles Gyamfi has also won three, but not in a row.

France-born Herve Renard is the only coach to win with two countries, guiding outsiders Zambia to success in 2012 and repeating the feat with the Ivory Coast three years later.

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