CAN 2016: Lionesses Squad Depleted
Most of the key players of the squad are yet to join the training camp in Akono.
Cameroon set as objective to score a double victory during the upcoming women AFCON; that of organisation and winning the title. While the country is faring well in terms of organisation, it is waning in terms of preparing for the sports victory probably because they pay more attention to the organisational aspect. Though the Lionesses are in their fifth training camp, the squad is yet to be completed as many key players are yet to show up at the training camp. This is the case of the star striker Gaelle Enganamouit and Aboudi Onguene who are currently engaged in the European Champions League with their respective clubs.
The same holds for other heroines of the world cup in Canada like Ajara Nchouk Njoya, Luco Yvonne, Mefoumetou Fallon, Ngog Yvonne, Marie Awona and Feudjeu. The problem stems from the fact that the world football governing body, FIFA, does not recognise the women AFCON and so therefore clubs are not obliged to release players called up for national duty. This implies that federations have to negotiate directly with clubs for players to be released and it depends on the discretion of the club to do so or not.
According to the coach of the Indomitable Lionesses, the problem has been submitted to the president of Fecafoot who has promised to open up negotiations with the various clubs so that the players should be released at least three weeks to the kick of the tournament. It is worthy to note that this is not the first time Lionesses are responding late when called up for national duty. It was the case in 2015 when Gaelle Enganamouit joined the Lionesses in camp barely one week to the beginning of the World Cup in Canada.
Besides the unavailability of key players, the training of the lionesses has also been hampered by the absence of viable sparring partners. The request has been made and some countries like Senegal, Mali and Cote d’Ivoire have been contacted but nothing concrete has come out of it. The representative of Ghana during the draws for the tournament on Sunday declared Ghana would be ready to face Cameroon in a friendly against Cameroon if contacted.
Meanwhile the lionesses continue fine-tuning their preparation in Akono. They pulled a 2-2 draws against a local side, Gloria F C at the playground of the College Stoll in Akono. Tomorrow, they will play another friendly against Apejes still in Akono. The training camp which is the 5th so far started on September 12th and will end of September 24th.