Saturday, 1 December 2018

Cameroonians Call On Minister Of Sports To Resign After Cameroon Lost AFCON 2019

Yaounde – Cameroonians call on the country’s Minister of Sport, Bidoung Mkpatt, to resign after Cameroon lost the rights to host African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2019 on Friday this week.

National Times news spoke to dozens of Cameroonians in Douala and Yaounde after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Ahmad Ahmad announced on Friday that the regional football body has strip Cameroon of its hosting rights for AFCON 2019.

“This is the biggest humiliation any African country can face. It is the biggest humiliation we have ever faced as a nation. How can a country rich in oil, timber and abundance of fertile land, fail to provide the infrastructure to host the Nations Cup (AFCON)?” Gabriel Djoumi a businesswoman in Douala asked National Times. “I believe the Minister of Sports Bidoung Mkpatt should resign immediately” she continued.
African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2019
African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2019
“Some Cameroonians think we are happy that we lost the rights to host the AFCON, and that we are not patriotic. I think they are been naïve. All we have been saying all along is that this government is too corrupt and inefficient to host such a big competition. And today CAF’s decision just affirmed our intuition. And I still think the Minister of Sports and the President should resign,” Rene Tsobi a lawyer based in Yaounde said twisting his lips in disappointment.

Tontine, who only preferred to be identified by her first name, said “I’m bitterly disappointed, with CAF. I think they have been lying to the Cameroonian people all along. They knew that we were not going to host the AFCON 2019, but they refused to tell us so we could vote for Biya”. Reflecting on the fiasco over Cameroon’s inability to send a delegate to CAF to represent the country for the African Championships, she added “since Bidoung Mkpatt took over from Adoum Garoua, the sport sector in Cameroon has been a shame. He talks a lot and does nothing. All he knows is to bow down to Biya. We need Ministers who can stand up for this country, even to the president, and Mr Bidoung Mkpatt is not that person. He should resign and go to jail” Tontine added.
CAF Executives who met in Ghana on Friday, stated that the decision to strip Cameroon of its AFCON 2019 hosting rights was based on the country’s inability to provide the necessary infrastructure and security to the visiting teams and and their supporters. ‘After having heard from representatives of the governmental and sports authorities of Cameroon, and reviewed the latest progress on preparations, CAF notes the gap between the requirements of hosting the AFCON and realities on the ground.

“Furthermore, after hearing the conclusions of the CAF Security Inspection Team during their most recent visit to Cameroon, CAF concludes that the Africa Cup of Nations could not be exposed to any issues that could impact on the success of the most prestigious African competition”.

“Cameroon was not ready to host the AFCON from the day the news was announced. This government was busy buying expensive cars for the President and other officials instead of investing in infrastructure. We wanted to feed the foul the same day we were taking it to the market. CAF as many Cameroonians, knew that this government is not serious. So let us focus on changing our country rather than blaming CAF” Yolande Azi a university student in Douala said. “I want Bidoung Mkpatt to resign and release all the funds he has stolen from this country,” he added without providing evidence that Bidoung Mkpatt stole public funds.

But some Cameroonians believe it was not Bidoung Mkpatt but the President of Cameroon, Paul Biya, who should resign. ‘Bidoung Mkpatt is a just a messenger. The person who should take responsibility for this national humiliation is the president of Cameroon. He failed to build roads, to invest in sports facilities, and lied to us that Cameroon will be ready on the D-day, are we ready? No. He should resign, but this is Cameroon, nothing will happen’ Voufo Messinga said.

Although calls for the Minister of Sports to resign after the Friday events are growing, it is difficult to tell whether or not any one will be held accountable. Cameroon is governed by an authoritarian system where public opinion scarcely shapes the President’s appointment decisions, except in rare cases such as riots where the President has in few instances bent to the public pressure to fire some officials.




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