Yaounde, Cameroon—After winning the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon are now poised to lift the trophy of the FIFA Confederations Cup tournament in Russia later this month.
The much-coveted FIFA Confederations Cup trophy made a stop-over in Cameroon on Friday June 2 in a final stop of a tour of the eight countries set to compete at the global tournament in Russia later this month.
On behalf of the Indomitable Lions, midfielder Sebastien Siani promised they are going to Russia to win the trophy to honour the memory of Marc Vivien Foe, a former midfielder of the team who collapsed on the field during the 2003 Confederations Cup semi-final between Cameroon and Colombia and later died in France.
Like Siani, the President of the Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT), Tombi a Roko Sidiki was optimistic that the five times African champions will lift the trophy as a mark of honour to the continent.
“We are not only representing the country Cameroon but the continent and our ambition is to win the trophy,” Tombi said.
Olivier Dacourt, who was part of the France teams that lifted the trophy in both 2001 and 2003 and now part of the FIFA Legends team accompanying the trophy tour urged the team maintain the 2017 AFCON steam and win the trophy.
“Winning the Africa Cup of Nations was a real feat for Cameroon the important thing is that they keep up their momentum,” Mr Dacourt said.
Participants in the 2017 Confederations Cup are hosts Russia, 2014 FIFA World Cup Champions Germany, 2015 Copa America Champions Chile, 2015 AFC Asian Cup Champion Australia, 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup winners Mexico, 2016 UEFA Euro Cup champs Portugal, OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) Nations Cup victors New Zealand and 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations Champion Cameroon that will be participating for the third time.
No African team has ever won the Confederations Cup. The best performance to date by the continent’s representatives in the competition remains that of Roger Milla’s country that reached the final in 2003 but lost to France.
While the trophy left Yaounde back to Russia, the Indomitable Lions who have been training in city since Monday also left for Malabo in neighbouring Equatorial Guinea where they will camp till June 8.
They will welcome Atlas Lions of Morocco in their first AFCON 2019 qualification match on June 10 before travelling to Madrid, Spain for a friendly against Colombia on June 13, according to the official program of the team.
The African champions will then move on June 14 for the FIFA Confederations Cup from June 17 to July 2 in Russia.
Cameroon will play in group B of the FIFA Confederations Cup alongside Chile, Australia and Germany. Their first game of the global tournament against Chile on June 18 will be staged at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi