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Intermediate Lions: where national pride remains prime

Come April 2020, the Intermediate Lions of Cameroon will represent country during Africa’s football event: The TOTAL African Nations Championship CHAN Cameroon 2020. Established, 07 September 2007, CHAN celebrates football exclusively made in the continent and by member countries of the Confederation of African Football CAF.

This competition features players who are actively taking part in the national championships of participating countries. They must also be qualified to play in the ongoing season. Prima donas or super stars if you want who play in other African Countries or Europe and American leagues are not qualified to play.

In effect, this is CAF’s most structured opportunity to valorise football made in the continent. Consequently, this is an appropriate environment for member federations and countries to valorise their home championships. The Cameroon Football Federation – FECAFOOT, just like the government of Cameroon are acutely aware of the honour and value the winning of such a competition gives to the domestic championship.

Talking to preselected players of the Intermediate Lions Cameroon’s flag bearers for the 2020 CHAN after their 2-0 triumph over the Chadian national team in a friendly in Yaounde on Saturday January 25, 2020, the President of the Cameroon Football Federation FECAFOOT Seidou Mbombo Njoya reminded the players of the importance the government of Cameroon and the federation he heads attaches to the competition the nation will be hosting. Listening to the President remind the men on the need to work hard, his tone and countenance, one could see a President who wants nothing short of a victory.

This reminder coming from a high football authority was surely not isolated because on more than one instance either Coach Yves Clement Arroga, deputy Emmanuel Ndumbe Bosso, Mbome Herve in charge of physical fitness or Assimba Clement goalkeepers trainer have laid emphasis on the importance of the CHAN not just for personal career growth but also for country.

“Boys this green, red and yellow you are carrying on your chest is not a joke. You must defend this and to defend means to work hard and win. Everyone in this country needs this trophy and we must give them. We must give the best of ourselves.” Yves Clement Arroga will tell the team every time he has the opportunity.

After every motivational moment, the lions sing the number one Hymn of the nation! The National Anthem as a sign of reaffirmation of loyalty to fatherland.

From their training sessions to friendly matches, their determination speak of young men who want to deliver to their nation in style. Undoubtedly, they want to get it right as wished by the President of the federation and Team officials. They are aware over 1000 players who play in the domestic championships have not been given the responsibility accorded them to represent the country.

For an active football nation like Cameroon, only the best performance that results in victory is expected from both the players and the technical staff. What a challenge! Though it is necessary for the team to be challenged and pressurised by the Cameroonian electrifying football public, it will be just to do so with the understanding that no human effort is perfect.

From traditional to new media, some constructive critique makes one to feel some recognition for the work done so far and the need for improvement. This could be a good way to go without being abusive. It is important if not necessary that everyone including the media and public understand their role of accompanying the team in this preparatory phase and together we can win!

By Bakah Derick

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