According to reports swirling around on the internet, Cameroon is set to lose the rights to host next year’s Africa Cup of Nations. The Confederation of African Football is supposedly unhappy with Cameroon’s inability to build the specified stadiums for the continental competition and are ready to open up negotiations with other nations that are interested to host instead, namely Morocco and South Africa.
Moroccan sports station Arriyadia was among the first to report this news after there was evidence that pointed out that Cameron’s stadiums are not up to the CAF’s specifications.
— Robert ALAI, HSC (@RobertAlai) November 30, 2018
If this deal does fall through, it could signify yet another pothole for the Cameroonian FA. The Indomitable Lions were once the crown jewel in African soccer. From 1984 to 2004, they won four Cup of Nations and reached one FIFA Confederations Cup final. They had stellar talent like Patrick M’Boma, Jacques Songo’o, and the legendary Samuel Eto’o.
After struggling to win much of anything between 2004 and 2016, even though they did reach two consecutive World Cups, they won the Cup of Nations yet again in 2017 thanks to a revamped attack led by Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui, Vincent Aboubakar, and Christian Bassogog. It felt at that moment that Cameroon was back on the saddle once again, however it proved to be a false alarm after they failed to reach their second straight World Cup.
When we talk about World Cup snubs from this past year, most of us understandably point to the United States, Italy, The Netherlands, or Chile. These are nations, after all, that are highly publicized for their talent and longevity. But what was probably more interesting was just how many African nations missed the cut. Along with the Ivory Coast and Ghana, Cameroon once again missed the big party in Russia while smaller powers like Egypt and Tunisia clinched spots. They missed the huge profit they could have used to complete these unfinished stadiums dotting the Cameroonian landscape.
It’s unfortunate to see such a power fall. We are commonly used to seeing the same usual suspects reach the top of international soccer every two to four years, so it becomes an anomaly when they fail to appear. So let’s hope that whatever is happening in Cameroon is resolved because we all lose a little something when the Indomitable Lions are not involved.
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