(Business in Cameroon) - In a press release published on 7 August 2017, the Cameroonian Federation of Football (Fecafoot), through its President, Tombi à Roko, acknowledged having taken note, “with great shock”, of the recent declarations of the president of the African Confederation of Football (CAF), Ahmad Ahmad, during a press conference in Burkina Faso. During said press conference, the boss of CAF declared: “in the current situation, there is no site in Cameroon capable of hosting the African Cup of Nations (AfCON)”.
Fecafoot expressed great concern that these comments should be made even before the first inspection team from CAF, scheduled for 20 to 28 August 2017, visited Cameroon. “We can rightly wonder about the usefulness of this inspection when conclusions already seem to have been reached at the highest levels of CAF”, declares Tombi à Roko.
Regarding the 2019 AfCON, the Federation recalls that Cameroon, based on the specifications agreed with CAF, launched an extensive construction and renovation program for its sports infrastructure, with a value ranging in the hundreds of billion of FCfa. Tombi à Roko indicates that in this regard, the country is benefitting from important financial support from partner countries. He lists for example Italy, for the construction of the Olembé stadium complex which includes an open stadium of 60,000 seats and two training stadia, various sports facilities and a four star hotel with seventy rooms.
The president of Fecafoot also mentioned Turkey, for the construction of the Japoma sports complex, which includes among others a 50,000 seats covered stadium and two training stadia, various sports facilities and accommodations with seventy rooms. This is also the case for Canada, for the renovation, by the company Sodevi, of the Reunification stadium and an adjoining stadium, as well as four training pitches in Bafoussam; France, for the renovation of the Mbappe Lepe and Bonamoussadi. Or the United Kingdom, for the renovation of the Roumde Adjia stadium in Garoua, as well as the construction of an adjoining stadium and a four star hotel with seventy rooms.
« Il est en effet particulièrement curieux qu’il [Ahmad Ahmad] ait été décidé que les réformes récentes opérées dans l’organisation de la Coupe d’Afrique des nations de football, s’appliquent immédiatement pour la CAN 2019. Une telle situation, qui remet unilatéralement en cause le cahier de charges précédemment conclu entre le Cameroun et la CAF, équivaut à un changement des règles du jeu en cours de match. », s’insurge la Fecafoot. « Nonobstant les curiosités sus-énumérées, la Fecafoot accueillera avec un esprit constructif toutes les missions d’inspection de la CAF. La Fecafoot, avec le plein soutien du gouvernement et du peuple camerounais, réaffirme solennellement que le Cameroun sera prêt pour l’organisation de la CAN 2019 », martèle Tombi à Roko.
“It is indeed particularly bizarre that he [Ahmad Ahmad] decided that the recent reforms carried out in the organisation of the African Cup of Nations, would immediately apply to the 2019 AfCON. Such a situation, which unilaterally questions the bill of specifications signed between Cameroon and CAF, is equivalent to changing the rules of the game in the middle of the game”, rails Fecafoot. “Not withstanding the above-mentioned idiosyncrasies, Fecafoot will welcome with a constructive mind any inspection team from CAF. Fecafoot with the full support of the Cameroonian government and population, solemnly restates that Cameroon will be ready to organise the 2019 AfCON”, repeats Tombi à Roko.