ANGU LESLEY N.
The first delegation of CAF envoys have arrived Cameroon ahead of AFCON 2019. The delegation of 10 officials touched down in Cameroon on Thursday and got to work early Friday morning in the capital city of Yaounde.
The delegation made up of 5 officials of the Executive Committee of CAF and 5 from European audit institution ,Roland Berger, has as duty to examine Cameroon’s level of preparedness from Yaounde to Garoua back to Bafoussam and later Douala,Limbe and Buea ahead of AFCON 2019.
The 24 nations football tournament is 17 months away from its start and the CAF delegation is expected to focus her attention on football and ancillary football facilities in the 5 host regions of Cameroon.
Some 46 years ago, Cameroon played host to the rest of the continent in the same tournament but in the build up to the 32nd edition of the tournament, CAF boss Ahmad, has been very categorical on what a host nation should look like.
Cameroon is expected to host the tournament but there has been massive criticism of the country’s level of preparedness especially from the local media that has been critical on the quality of currently existing tournament facilities thus regularly prompting the country’s minister of sports and physical education, Pierre Ismael Bidoung Mpkatt to hold press conferences to make clarifications when need be.
The team is expected to inspect six major playing pitches needed for the tournament,over 20 training pitches,hotels ,transport channels(road,air,rail),telecommunication services and discuss the level of security especially in the above mentioned host cities.
The inspection mission which started on the 11th January will last till the 23 of this month.
In Littoral,the team will visit the Japoma Stadium(work in progress in legendary Roger Milla’s village), the Reunification stadium , the Mbappe Leppe stadium both to be refurbished and the training facility in Bonamoussadi.
In the center region ,the Ahmadou Ahidjo and it’s Annex are stop points just like The “Paul Biya” Olembe stadium.
Up north in Garoua,the Roumde Adjia Stadium certainly will be a center of attraction.The 16000 capacity edifice is currently undergoing Metamorphosis which will end with additional 4000 seats.The annexes of the stadium will equally be a point of interest.
In the west region, the Kwekom stadium in Bafoussam and the Cenajes Stadium in Dschang ,the Mbouda and Bandjoun grounds for training will catch the delegates eyes.
South West regional towns of Buea and Limbe are ahead of other cities in terms of modern playing facilities but have transport and telecommunication issues to address.
Buea displayed total hospitality in 2016 especially to the Nigerian team that the won the female African Nations cup while Limbe the main host City in the south west undoubtably a veritable town of friendship with open hands waiting for the inspection team to move from Gardens through Bota to Ngueme and why not the tournament.
CAF inspection team one, is here but Cairo is waiting as only a desired report will keep Cameroon’s hopes of hosting the tournament alive.
The team has its program as follows;
January 12 & 13, Inspection in Yaounde.
January 14th and 15th Garoua inspection.
16th & 17th January,Bafoussam
18th & 19 January,Inspection in Douala.
20th & 21st January,inspection in Limbe and Buea.
23rd January inspection of the CAF excellence center in Mbankomo. End of inspection mission.