Cameroon now more like ‘Camer-ruin’

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

SOCHI, Rus­sia: Cameroon need to im­prove their foot­ball in­fras­truc­ture if they want to com­pete with the world’s top teams, coach Hugo Broos said fol­low­ing their Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup exit.

De­spite win­ning the African Na­tions Cup in Fe­bru­ary, Broos added that the five-times con­ti­nen­tal cham­pi­ons had to stop liv­ing on their past suc­cess and face re­al­ity.

Cameroon were knocked out of the tour­na­ment in Rus­sia on Sun­day af­ter a 3-1 de­feat to Ger­many left them with one point from three matches, an out­come which Broos said he had been ex­pect­ing.

The In­domitable Lions are also strug­gling to qual­ify for next year’s World Cup, hav­ing taken only two points from their first two games in African Group B to leave them four behind lead­ers Nige­ria. Only the win­ners qual­ify.

“It was not a sur­prise for me. I al­ways said af­ter we won the Na­tions Cup that we are one of the best teams in Africa but there is still a dif­fer­ence be­tween us and mod­ern foot­ball,” Broos said af­ter Sun­day’s de­feat.

“We saw the proof that a lot of work still needs to be done ... it is of course a qual­ity is­sue, but it’s mostly a train­ing is­sue,” the Bel­gian said. “There is a lot to be done on that front in Cameroon, we still live on our past suc­cesses.”

Broos, who was ap­pointed in Fe­bru­ary last year af­ter see­ing the job ad­ver­tised on the Cameroon fed­er­a­tion’s web­site, has had to en­dure ad­min­is­tra­tive prob­lems dur­ing his 18 months in charge.

Sev­eral top Euro­pean-based play­ers re­fused call-ups for the Na­tions Cup, ei­ther be­cause they were an­gry at past ex­pe­ri­ences with the team or feared los­ing their places with their club sides.

In March, the team sat down for a meal at a ho­tel in Brus­sels ahead of a friendly against Guinea only to be told they could not eat be­cause the bill had not been paid. They later lost the match 2-1.

Broos noted that the Cameroon squad at the 2003 Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup had play­ers based with “Real Madrid, In­ter Mi­lan and Liver­pool” which was “no longer the case”.

“I am not point­ing the fin­ger at any player, I’m just point­ing to the train­ing is­sues in Cameroon,” he said.

“There is a lack of pitches, there is a lack of in­fras­truc­ture in the coun­try which is why it is im­pos­si­ble in to train good foot­ballers for mod­ern foot­ball, so this is our main dis­ad­van­tage.

“If we do qual­ify for the World Cup next year, we are go­ing to have to start think­ing about solv­ing this prob­lem for the future.”

Mean­while, The Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup was a missed op­por­tu­nity for Aus­tralia but the Soc­ceroos should gain con­fi­dence from their im­prove­ment dur­ing the tour­na­ment in Rus­sia, coach Ange Postecoglou has said.

Aus­tralia bowed out with a 1-1 draw against Chile on Sun­day, hav­ing needed a two-goal win to reach the semi-fi­nals. Chile ad­vanced to play Por­tu­gal for a spot in the fi­nal, with Ger­many tak­ing on Mex­ico in the other semi-fi­nal.

The 48th-ranked Soc­ceroos were lam­basted at home for their dis­jointed per­for­mance in a 2-0 loss to a sec­ond string Ger­many, but held African cham­pi­ons Cameroon to a 1-1 draw and dic­tated terms against fourth-ranked Chile for much of the match. “We’re very dis­ap­pointed,” Postecoglou said af­ter the Moscow stale­mate. – Reuters

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