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International Football

Cameroon’s Lions Are Not Indomitable

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA

When Nigeria hosts Cameroon on Friday in Uyo in a 2018 World Cup qualifiers, it will be the 21st time both teams will be going head-to-head. However in recent time, Nigerian football followers are often jittery in fixtures with Cameroon.

Sports Village Square can confirm that past results swayed greatly in favour of Nigeria. Last Sunday marked 26 years since Cameroon ever beat Nigeria in regulation time. It was a World Cup qualifying match for Italia’ 90 – a tie in which Nigeria needed just a draw to advance to the last straight knock-out qualifying duel.

But the Super Eagles are still being haunted by the sad loss through penalty shootout of the final match of the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations when scores at regulation time and extra time stood at 2-2. Until about a decade ago, Nigeria-Cameroon fixture was almost like a recurring decimal.

But in spite of the intimidating stature of the Indomitable Lions, results have always been in Nigeria’s favour. In 20 matches, Nigeria won 12 times as against three clear victories by Cameroon. The remaining five were drawn – including the February 13, 2000 Africa Cup final in which penalty kicks were used as tie-breaker.

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Not only that, Nigeria had beaten Cameroon in Yaounde three times in the past including the occasion when the massive Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium was opened on February 13, 1972 ahead of  the hosting of the eighth edition of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Nigeria did not only mar the occasion for Cameroon by beating the hosts 2-1, it is on record that the first goal at that stadium was scored by a Nigerian – Josiah Dombraiye who netted a brace.  Other instances Nigeria beat Cameroon in Yaounde include the January 1 1963 return leg match of the then Kwame Nkrumah Cup organized by the West African Football Federations (WAFF), forerunners to the current West African Football Union. Cameroon was one of the founding countries of WAFF when it was established in Accra in March 1959.

Nigeria won in Yaounde after an earlier 3-1 win in Lagos. Also, a goalless World Cup qualifying match in Lagos on December 7, 1968 was followed with a 3-2 defeat of Cameroon in Yaounde on December 22, 1968.

The Nigerian soil has always been a poor hunting ground for Cameroon whose best result remain the 2-2 draw in Lagos in 2000 and perhaps the goalless outings of 1968 and that of February 2, 1980 at the then Liberty Stadium Ibadan when the legendary goalkeeper, Emmanuel Okala last played for Nigeria.

The first time Cameroon ever beat Nigeria was in the final match of the 1984 Africa Cup of Nations in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. Nigeria lost 1-3 after taking an early lead by Muda Lawal’s early strike.

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The second time Nigeria lost to Cameroon was also an African Cup of Nations final match in which a clear goal by Henry Nwosu was disallowed while a doubtful penalty kick was awarded Cameroon by the Mauritanian referee, Idrissa Sarr to Cameroon which was converted by Emmanue Kunde.

The only edge Cameroon probably have over Nigeria is the fact that the first three times the Lions won the Africa Cup of Nations, the Super Eagles were the losers – 1984, 1988 and 2000.

 

Nigeria vs. Cameroon: Head-to-Head

                   P       W       D       L        F       A       GD

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Nigeria        20      12      5        3        31      16      +15

Cameroon  20      3        5        12      16      31      -15

 

  • 26 Apr. 1960 (F-Lome) Cameroon 0-0 Nigeria
  • 8 Dec.1962 (Nkrumah Cup – Lagos) Nigeria 3-1 Cameroon
  • 1 Jan.1963 (Nkrumah- Yaounde) Cameroon 1-2 Nigeria
  • 20 July 1966 (F- Fanando Po) Cameroon 1-2 Nigeria
  • 1968 (WCq- Lagos) Nigeria 1-1Cameroon
  • 22 Dec.1968 (WCq – Yaounde) Cameroon 2-3 Nigeria
  • 13 Feb.1972 (F- Yaounde) Cameroon 1-2 Nigeria
  • 22 Jan. 1975 (F – Lagos) Nigeria 1-0 Cameroon
  • 2 Feb. 1980 (F- Ibadan) Nigeria 0 -0 Cameroon
  • 18 Mar.1984 (Afcon – Abidjan) Cameroon 3-1 Nigeria
  • 17 Mar. 1988(Afcon – Rabat Cameroon 1-1Nigeria
  • 27 Mar.1988 (Afcon – Casablanca) Cameroon 1-0 Nigeria
  • 10 June1989 (WCq- Ibadan) Nigeria 2-0 Cameroon
  • 1989 (WCq – Yaounde) Cameroon 1-0 Nigeria
  • 25 Jan.1992 (Afcon – Dakar) Cameroon 1-2 Nigeria
  • 1997 (LG Cup – Tunis) Cameroon 0-1 Nigeria
  • 13 .Feb. 2000 (Afcon- Lagos) Nigeria 2-2 Cameroon *(3-4 pso).
  • 1 June2003 (LG Cup- Lagos) Nigeria 3-0 Cameroon *aet
  • Feb.2004 (Afcon – Monastir) Cameroon 1-2 Nigeria
  • Oct. 2015 (F-Vise, Belgium) Cameroon 0-3 Nigeria

 

 

 

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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International Football

New twist in Cameroon football coach crisis

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA

The coaching crisis in Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions has taken a new dimension as the football federation, FECAFOOT, led by former international, Samuel Eto’o goes in direct confrontation with the coaching crew appointed by the sports ministry which also picks the bills.

  According to a Cameroon official who will not like to be named as he was not authorised to speak on the matter, the claims and counter claims of both the sports ministry and the FECAFOOT led by Eto’o had been heard and decided by the conciliation and arbitration chamber of the Cameroonian national Olympic committee, which is a court in charge of sports cases in Cameroon.

  “What is in contention is not the position of the Belgian coach, Marcc Brys, but that of the Cameroonian assistants attached to him.”

  The source explained to Sports Village Square that although the employment of Brys by the sports ministry was initially contested by Eto’o, the former player has come to accept the situation.

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  “In Cameroon, there is always a techenical crew of nine to 11. The foreign coach is allowed to bring in two foreign assistants, while the others are always Cameroonians.

  In this case, the sports ministry approved the list of two foreign assistants by Brys while also announcing another set of local assistants that included former international, François Omam-Biyik, one of the stars of Italia ‘90  and the scorer of the goal that gave Cameroon a 1-0 win over a Diego Maradona-inspired  Argentina.

  “That is where the problem is. FECAFOOT also submitted a list of technical crew that included Brys and his two foreign assistants but dropped the names of the local assistants with new ones.”

  In essence, there are two lists with both having three names as same, but differ on the rest.

 According to the source, the list submitted by the sports ministry was upheld by the tribunal which threw aside that of FECAFOOT.

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  In another twist, FIFA has already removed the name of Marc Brys from the profile of Cameroon on its website. Only the name of national women’s coach, Jean-Baptiste Bisseck is listed.

The removal of Brys’ name is happening a second time as it was first removed at the end of last month before being reinstated.

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International Football

Cameroon’s appointment of Brys as manager suspended by sports tribunal

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Marc Brys

Cameroon’s appointment of Belgian Marc Brys as head coach was suspended by the country’s top sports tribunal on Tuesday following the petition of an amateur football club.

The country’s sports ministry stirred controversy last month when it named 61-year-old Brys as manager of the Indomitable Lions without consulting the football federation (FECAFOOT).

The move sparked a dispute between the sports ministry and FECAFOOT, which said the government had made a unilateral decision.

In response, it asked its president Samuel Eto’o to propose a national coach and other management staff for the national side within 72 hours, deepening its standoff with the sports ministry.

Eto’o kept Brys as head coach but named different assistants, technical, medical and administrative staff.

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An amateur club, meanwhile, took the matter to the Arbitration and Conciliation Chamber of the Cameroon National Olympic and Sports Committee.

In a provisional ruling on Tuesday, the court suspended the FECAFOOT appointments while it fully examined the matter. Concerned parties have 24 hours to appeal.

FECAFOOT in response said it “reserves the right to refer these decisions to FIFA, as they hinder the preparation process for the forthcoming sport events.

“The Emergency Committee of FECAFOOT will meet immediately to take appropriate measures,” it said in a statement.

Soccer’s world governing body FIFA has strict rules against government interference in national federations and has frequently banned countries when governments get involved in federation affairs.

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The president of the Cameroon Association of Amateur Football Clubs, Balla Ongolo Henri, had previously said Eto’o’s appointments would damage Cameroon’s image and disrupt preparations for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers next June.

Brys, 61, penned a contract on May 8 as head coach of the Indomitable Lions following the dismissal of Rigobert Song in February. FECAFOOT did not attend the signing ceremony.

The sports ministry says it has acted in accordance with national and international regulations.

Reuters

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International Football

Amokachi, Adebayor and Amanda Dlamini confirmed for CAF African Schools Championship Finals

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African football legends, Emmanuel Adebayor, Daniel Amokachi and Amanda Dlamini are some of the top names that have been confirmed for the Continental Finals of the CAF African Schools Football Championship 2024 scheduled in Zanzibar between 21 – 24 May 2024.

The CAF African Schools Football Championship is the school’s competition that includes over 44 African countries with over 800 000 participants of Boys and Girls under the age of 15.

This is the second edition of the competition that is not only focused on Football but also on a number of programmes including Young Referee’s Programme, Young Reporter Programme and Safeguarding. 

Adebayor, CAF Player of the Year in 2008, represented Togo at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany for their only appearance at the tournament. Ex-striker for Arsenal, Manchester City, Real Madrid, and others, the Togolese star has had a successful career, earning over 85 caps with Les Eperviers.

Nigerian football star Amokachi played 42 international matches for the Super Eagles. He participated in the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups and was part of the team that won the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations in 1994 and the Olympic Games in 1996.

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Former Banyana Banyana (South Africa) captain Dlamini played in two TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations competitions where they finished third and second in 2010 and 2012, respectively. She is one of the few footballers, both in the men’s and women’s national teams to reach 100 caps.

Dlamini recently made history when she became the first female to be part of the world commentary feed at the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023.

Also on the list are local stars Abdi Kassim Sadalla, former Tanzanian National Team Captain, and Hilda Masanche, Head coach of the Tanzania U17 Women’s National Team.

The Legends will feature in various activities to promote and support football development among African youth.

The finals will bring together talented young players from across the continent, providing them a platform to showcase their skills and passion for the game.

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-CAF

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