Cameroon’s Sports and Physical Education Minister, Pierre Ismael Bidoung Mpkatt, has invited a host of former players of the nation’s national football team to seek advice as the country prepares to host the first ever expanded edition of the African Nations Cup (AFCON) in 2019.
Scores of former emblematic players from different generations were at the Ministry of Sports and Physical Education, Tuesday, August, 14.They shared views with the sports boss and other stakeholders on how best the nation can host the tournament.
The former players are now expected to play vital advisory roles in contributing to the county’s hosting of the tournament. Among prominent faces that showed up at Tuesday’s event was Agbor Hans, Bill Tchatto, Rigobert Song, Geremie Njitap, Patrick Mboma, Roger Milla, Joseph Bell Antoine among others.
The Deputy Secretary General of the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF), Anthony Baffoe, was part of the discussion Minister Bidoung Mpkatt had with the former players of the national team.
Patrick Mboma told reporters after the audience that it is pertinent for the former players to share their experiences and contribute to the hosting of the tournament given what they have come across in their careers.
Bidoung Mpkatt’s move comes one day after a visiting CAF inspection team for the first time in their three missions to Cameroon made positive press declarations about the preparations on ground.
CAF’s First Vice President, Pinnick Amaju, told reporters after the visits to the different facilities concerned with AFCON 2019 that,’ “CAF is satisfied with Cameroon’s preparation”. Amaju told journalists that, CAF’s President Amhad Ahmad is in support to see Cameroon host the tournament.
The developments are known to be unfolding as the fear of Cameroon losing the hosting right of the tournament dies out continually. The last few months had seen Cameroon in the media space with reports suggesting that, Morocco was going to be handed the hosting rights of the competition.
CAF’s renewed concern in the level of preparedness fits into the new design of the competition. It now groups 24 countries up from 16 previously. This therefore puts the need for more facilities and infrastructure at a higher level.
The task remains arduous for a country with poor investment in developing sports infrastructure. We are barely 10 months away from the date of the tournament’s commencement.