President Paul Biya has demanded a thorough investigation into the failure of his country’s national football team at the World Cup, according to BBC
“The President of the Republic, President Biya, instructs the Prime Minister Head of government, Philemon Yang to open investigations on the causes of the unfortunate participation of the Indomitable Lions at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil,” read a statement broadcast on Cameroon radio. “He should provide results within a month and make proposals for a deep and urgent reconstruction of Cameroon football.”
The Indomitable Lions failed hopelessly to live up to that moniker, being comfortably beaten in all three of their group stage games against Mexico (1-0), Croatia (4-0) and hosts Brazil (4-1) to exit the tournament with the worst record of any of the participating teams.
There was controversy around the team before the tournament even started. They were accused of snubbing prime minister Yang’s symbolic offer of a national flag, causing a tide of ill-feeling.
This was compounded by a dispute over payments to the players which saw them delay their departure to Brazil by nearly 24 hours until they received money they felt they were owed. Talismanic striker Samuel Eto’o was accused of “treason” as public opinion turned against the team.
Things hardly improved once in Brazil, and they will perhaps be remembered mainly for their embarrassing second match against Croatia. Alex Song was sent off for striking Mario Mandzukic, before Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Benjamin Moukandjo fought each other on the field as Cameroon’s tournament degenerated into humiliation.
Cameroon have endured a torrid time in World Cups since their famous march to the quarter finals in 1990. In five tournaments since their Italian adventure they have failed to progress beyond the group stages and have won only one out of 15 matches.