AFCON Harassment: Enough Is Enough!

Never has a people been so stressed up for wanting to serve a noble goal.

Since Cameroon was given the hosting rights of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Addis Ababa on 20 September, 2014 following a vote by all 14 members of the Executive Committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the country set out to provide the required infrastructure. Football stadiums, hospitals, hotels, telecommunication facilities and so on have witnessed an evolution in the country in preparation for the football jamboree.       
If the question were just to ensure that the infrastructure for the event to conveniently take place is provided, then Cameroon will undoubtedly be proud to say; yes we made it! Unfortunately, it has all been like a game of conspiracy aimed at rendering the process difficult for Cameroon. It all seems as if the problem is Cameroon: a proud country that has repeatedly been targeted for its economic, political and nationalistic options.

When the decision was taken for the country to host the competition in 2014, it was for the 32nd edition with 16 teams in competition. Surprisingly, by 2018 while preparations where in full gear, CAF extended the number of participating countries to 24, thereby moving the goal post midway into the “match!” With the normal sense of fair-play and usual accommodating attitude of the country`s leadership coupled with the love that the population has for football, Cameroon still accepted to host the event. But even before the year ended, CAF talked about shifting the date for Cameroon to instead host the 33rd edition in 2021. Here again Cameroon said no problem.

Even if some argue that Cameroon has not been angelic in meeting the challenges of hosting such a mega competition, the fact remains that the resolve to keep to its promises has been undaunted throughout.  Prove is that Cameroon has in all six sites earmarked for the AFCON provided far more than the required sports, hospital and other infrastructure demanded for the event. Unfortunately, listening to some public declarations, especially from football managers in England and other European countries, it has all been a sordid show of disdain and display of complex for unknown raisons.

They seem to talk with derision not only about AFCON, but even Africa as if to say paying African players in their football leagues is all that matters. They ought to be grateful to Africa for giving birth to such talented players and accept that they are paid for their talents and values.
Some have even gone as far as raising the Covid-19 pandemic as if only Africa and Cameroon have been worst hit. Regular sports events have long resumed in Europe, America and other “so called developed countries” even in the midst of horrifying daily contaminations from the virus. How could someone in suc...



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