Barely a few days into the much awaited 2014 Brazil FIFA World Cup Rendez –vous, the Cameroonian public has been left in shock and consternation after the Indomitable Lions were humiliated by the Mexican side in their opening encounter of the tournament.
Though there was much wrangling between the indomitable lions and the football managers, led by Professor Joseph Owona, there is no gainsaying the fact that at the end of the day, the each of the 23 players went to the tournament smiling with fcfa 55 million each in their accounts. The surprise however is that the Cameroon National Team has now emerged as the best motivated team from Africa in the 2014 world cup. Despite this, they have not been able to produce the required results.
It is an open secret towards the end of his stewardship as team captain of the indomitable lions, Rigobert Song was locked in a deadly duel with Samule Eto’o Fils. This not only led to rancor, suspensions and other disciplinary actions, but also a much fractured and divided team. At the time, it is agreed that a house divided against itself cannot stand. This was clearly demonstrated in the 2010 world cup where Cameroon was ranked just one place away from the bottom. The lions emerged the 31st out of the 32 teams that took part in the competition.
Since then, much has changed in term of the revitalization of the team .This began at the level of coaches. Denis Lavagne, Javier Clemente ,Jean Paul Akono and then Volke Finke. The cataclysm witnessed in the changes even pushed Jean Paul Akono to have a stroke. Then came the building of team spirit. This began with the ailing Rigobert Song stepping aside and taking up a new position in the team as manager. The old players have all been weeded out. Before the lions travelled to Brazil, there was prove that they were all speaking one language especially when it came to negotiating their bonuses. This was a cause championed by Samuel Eto’o Fils, the team captain. Little wonder therefore, the flight taking the lions to Brazil was delayed for more than 24 hours. At the end of the day, unable to completely heal the wounds, the Cameroon national flag, was handed to the German coach, Volke Finke,to the chagrin of Cameroonians who thought, instead of the team captain ,a Cameroonian who would have taken the national flag. Cameroon was in effect sold to Germany before the tournament.
It is also very evident that the financial requests of the players were met, leaving them the highest motivated amongst the five teams from Africa. This also means that Cameroonians were expecting nothing but the best from the lions. But they failed in their first game against Mexico. The big question therefore has been asked. How useful is Samuel Eto’o Fils to the Cameroon national team. He fought for Rigobert Song to be thrown out, it was done. He undermined coaches ,like Denis Lavagne and asked for his head. It was given to him alongside the head of others on a platter of gold ,he asked for the team captain job ,it was handed to him, he demanded colossal sums of money for himself and the entire team before the competition, it was dolled out; to say the least the highest amount for participating teams from the continent. The result of all these has been a defeat from Mexico. So what do ordinary Cameroonians stand to benefit from all of these apart from the fact that Eto’o Fils should be sacked from the team and other young players given a chance?
A recent sports commentator noted that “ Samuel Eto’o has arguably played above expectations for Chelsea this season, but he’s still 33 years old or 35 ,according to Jose Mourinho. Cameroon have too much resting on Eto’o’s shoulders going into Brazil ,and that’s to say nothing of the behind –the scenes machinations that have doomed the Indomitable Lions at the World Cup before”.
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