Monday, July 12, 2010

Facing the Nation: the humiliating return of The Lions

By Sylvester Gwellem - The early humiliating exit of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon from the on-going World Cup in South Africa has made the team the laughing stock of Africa. But it is a very much welcome sign to outsiders who believe that all is not well in Cameroon.

Anti – climax
It is a terrible anti – climax. For one thing, all the hopes of Africa were placed on Cameroon. Little did Africans know that instead of counting on their skills, Cameroon based their hopes on the power of witchdoctors? How could a supposedly Christian country carry 16 marabous to help the Lions to win matches? Who tells the managers of the team that Satan can lie on the same bed with God? The near misses the different players made were punishment from God who does not allow double-dealing. The defeat of Cameroon in three matches was predictable. Despite the galaxy of stars the Lions parade, their wrangling, instead of solidarity is a reflection of the political, social and economic wrangling back in Cameroon. Yet nobody is in a position to keep things in order.

In dispersed ranks at home
Just a week earlier, the Secretary General of the UN on a brief visit to Cameroon, Ban – Kin – Moon told Biya to win the hearts and minds of all Cameroonians irrespective of political leanings but the CPDM arrogance did not allow him to do so. How did he expect order to reign in the Lions when we live in dispersed ranks at home? Politicians never learn any lessons until they are caught pants down like Tamnja of Niger.

Worse things to come
The defeat of the Lions which the CPDM would have used for their campaigns has removed the wind from their sails. The South African Waterloo is an omen of worse things to come.

Wasted effort
In a poor country like Cameroon where very few people can afford a meal a day, each player was given 45 million francs each. Beside they were lodged in a luxurious and very expensive Hotel. If you multiply 45 million by 23 and others whose transport fares were paid, you would discover that many drugs and water points and roads could have been served with such a whooping sum. It was a wasted effort.

Opium of the people
For quite some time now the Cameroon government has used football to divert attention from teething national problems to it. Football has become the opium of the people where everybody swears by it.

Round table and look in the same direction
The Cameroon government should know that before going to any war citizens must all sit on the same round table and look in the same direction. But where the leaders feel that they alone could do everything, the disaster Cameroon has suffered in South Africa will be the end results and why not more. The regional balance in the selection into the national team might have contributed to the demise of the national team.

Allow the ball to do the work
That said, all African teams seem to have played the same way. Modern football has become more scientific than the old school where it was a matter of kicking and rushing. Modern football involves a lot of mathematical calculations to avoid kicking over the pole, out of the pole or simply miles away from the goalkeeper. Apart from that, allow the ball to do the work instead of each player trying to walk the ball into the goal post.

Humiliating return
With the humiliating return of the Lions back home, Cameroonians should now try to reconcile themselves otherwise the calamities predicted by some local and international NGOs will soon sweep us off our feet. After all, what has football brought to Cameroon in concrete terms? It has only enriched the individual players and their accomplices in FECAFOOT.

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