By Dr. Forbi Joseph
I have hopes for Cameroonian football and do not want these hopes to evaporate. Now, there is a requiem for Cameroon's football. The English premiership (EP) and the recent liberalization of the media with neo-colonization in Cameroon have clearly hammered the final nail in Cameroon football coffin and even the confusion in the Cameroon football ngumba house (FECAFOOT) in Yaoundé has done us no good. My friend danced ‘merengue’ when Chelsea scored. I wished he danced for Ndu tea football club.
This much is clear to me. Cameroonians have adopted the EP teams and are unable to name a single player who plays for their local Cameroonian club-side like PWD, Tiko United, Panthère-Ndé, Canon-Yaounde and Ndong Awing. Not to mention naming players in teams such as neighboring Enugu Rangers and Shooting Stars of Ibadan. It is so fashionable for Cameroonians to wear Chelsea and Manchester United school uniforms. Even children do. There is no room for the showcase of jerseys coming from PWD Bamenda, Cotonsport Garoua, Kumbo strikers, Renaissance-Ngoumou and Mankon & Bafut United. It seems to me that these die-hard EP supporters are EP colonies or slaves. I only hope that this is my mistake.
However, enter a shop in Cameroon and you will hardly see a ‘polo’ engraved with L'Aigle Nkongsamba or PWD Bamenda symbols. Bring a discussion about PWD and your friends will describe you as old fashion. It will be sweet when it’s EP. The effects of these are predictable. The local stadia are virtually empty. This is bad economic calculation. Cameroon participates in many local and international engagements instead we are glued to the TV watching EP and almost developing hypertension. Unbelievable! The local TV could help us restore a substantial part of this lost glory. Is it true that a home TV station interrupted its popular late news to broadcast an EP game? Are the local leagues shown on TV? The TV only shows what could entice fans or should I say, worshipers and bring money. Again, this, I say, is wrong.
Obviously, Cameroonian fans of local teams are now part of a dinosaur-breed. They are now few and far between and soon they will be extinct. What then is FECAFOOT doing about this dreadful situation about our local football? They are comatose and quarrelling over leadership of the association. Our football makossa dancing ambassador Milla Roger may be right here. He has repeatedly called for the closure of the moribund FECAFOOT doors. May God whatever you perceive HIM to be help us. How can we extinguish this negative tendency? The local football houses must realize the threats that exist within their own environments and plan accordingly. The fight is on and Cameroonian should realize this. It is unwillingness to think BIG that will eventually STOP us.
I speak for a COUNTRY that has produced the greatest footballers of all nations. I’m speaking for a country that has qualified six times for the FIFA World Cup, more than any other African team (1982, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010). I hope that as we enter the New Year and new football season Cameroonians will be seen actively participating and wearing the Njala Quan-Victoria and Unisport Bafang school uniforms. Together we can kill the football slavery, treat the EP football fever and then well position our local league. I am confident and I refuse to be unconcern. Our backyard is closer than a distance backyard and it is our duty to care for it.
Happy New Year to you all.