Continental Competitions – Why Cameroonian Clubs Fail to Shine

In recent past, Cameroonian clubs have been eliminated prematurely in the African Champions’ league and African Confederations Cup competitions.

Gone are the days when Cameroonians clubs used to send cold running down the spines of opponents owing to their domination of football on the continent. Clubs like Canon, Oryx, and Union doula were household names in Africa. Canon of Yaounde won the African champions league three times 1971, 1978 and 1980 and was runner up at the confederations cup in 2003. Oryx won the maiden edition of the champions’ league in 1965, attained the semi finals the next year in 1966 and was quarter finalist in 1968. Union, won the competition in 1979, then known as the Africa cup of champions. The most remarkable performance of a Cameroonian club in recent times was the runner up position of the champions’ league attained by Coton Sport in 2008 when they were beaten in penalty shoot-outs by Al Ahly of Egypt. The club from the littoral Region won both cup and championship last year and played the semi finals of the confederation cup.

Today, even the torch bearer of Cameroonian football, Coton Sport has become a Lilliputian unable to scare even a fly. After taking part in two continental semi finals, Coton Sport of Garoua was eliminated from the African Champions league this year at the 16th final. The elimination of Coton Sport at this early stage came as a surprise as most Cameroonians placed their hopes on colossus from the North as the most experienced of the continental representatives. The two Cameroonian representatives in the African confederation cup, Panthere and Unisport did not cross the hurdle of the preliminary round. Meanwhile, newcomer Cosmos of Mbam without surprise got butted out at the 16th finals stage of the champions’ league by more experienced Esperance of Tunis.

Flag bearers, Coton Sport were butted out 0-2 by little known Sanga Balenga of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a defeat the club attributed to the uncompensated efforts of captain Soulemanou Moussa and team mates during the return leg game in Kinshasa. However, Coton Sport forfeited their chances of qualifying for the 8th finals when they played a zero-all tie against Sanga Balende in the away leg at the Roumdeacute Adja stadium in Garoua. According to the coach of the Congolese side, Santos Mutumbile, Coton underrated his team. Hence the club objective for 2015 could not be attained as the coach, Didier Gomes Da Rosa declared at the beginning of the season that they wanted to do better than in 2014 and aim high. The real reason for Coton Sport’s demise is the fact that the group of youths groomed in the club left for richer clubs outside the country such as their best player from Niger, Daouda Kamilou, the Indomitable Lion goalkeeper, Loic Feudjou and the team captain from the Central African Republic, Nicaise Zimbori.

Efforts need to be made therefore to conserve talents back at home by offering better conditions of living to players. The national championship only serves as a nursery where talents are nurtured for exportation to richer clubs abroad. With increased resources for clubs, Cameroonian clubs can also hire talents from outside the country like clubs elsewhere on the continent, so as to be able to rival with the best on the continent.

Source : Cameroon Tribune

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