156 athletes participates in Mt. Cameroon test race

156 athletes from all 10 Regions of Cameroon have taken part in the first test race in preparation for the 24th edition of the ‘Mount Cameroon Race of Hope; scheduled for February 23, this year.

The race on Saturday January 19 which kicked started at 7:20am saw all participants taking part in one category from the Molyko Stadium to the Intermediary hut. Tangwa Stephanus representing the Southwest Governor presided over the event with his kickoff whistle.

After 2hrs 26mins of run, Ndangeh Simplice emerged as winner of the race, followed by Lambu Elizah Kangha with a 10 minutes difference while vetran Sarah Etonge’s son, Lyonga Essombe Samuel attained the third position covering the distance in 2h 41 minutes.

According to Nlemba Roger, Secretary General of the Athletic League, Southwest Region, the path of the mountain is well secured with a medical team in place already for any health eventuality. This to him makes them set for the race, come January 23.

The athletes who took part in this year’s test race however testified that the race course is not yet ready as ‘pasture’ could be seen on their bodies.

With the notion of serious insecurity issues in this part of the country which Cameroonians in other Regions and those out of the country are made to believe, the number of athletes and the turnout of the population this year as many believe would drastically drop if care is not taken.

By Relindise Ebune

August date for FECAFOOT elections

The information was revealed by the President of the Normalization Committee of the Cameroon Football Federation, FECAFOOT, Dieudonné Happi during a press conference last week at the FECAFOOT headquarters in Tsinga.
Barrister Happi dismissed claims that the Normalization Committee is set for another mandate extension, adding that all is set for the elections of a new executive at the helm of the local football governing body.
A press conference in which five members of the Normalization committee (President Happi, the Vice-Presidents Marcelle Denise Ambono, Maurice Samuel Bellet Edimo, Dr Abdou Oumerou and Kevin Njomo Kamdem) discussed a wide range of issues including modification of FECAFOOT statutes which will pave the way for elections, the recruitment of a new head coach at the helm of the team as well as the construction of a new headquarter for FECAFOOT.
Elections at FECAFOOT
Barrister Happi rolled out a calendar for the adoption of the FECAFOOT statutes leading to the elections as he revealed that a general assembly to adopt the statutes will be convened on June 23. Only clubs involved in the 2011/2012 and 2017/2018 football seasons will be part of the process, he noted.
The adoption of texts at the departmental levels will be done between June 29, and July 1, while that at the departmental level is scheduled between the July 8 and 12, 2018.
After adoption of the statutes, potential candidates for elective positions will be expected to deposit their files between and July 18 and 24 after which a departmental General Assembly will follow. Elections at the departmental level are scheduled between July 16 and 24 2018 while elections at the Regional level will hold between August 4 and 9, 2018.
At this process must have been completed, FECAFOOT will begin receiving files for the national presidency from potential candidates before convening a national general assembly on August 17. The elections will hold between August 17 and 30 while the new bureau will take over from the Normalization Committee on August 31.
Indomitable Lions Coach
The Normalization Committee confirmed they had interviewed a handful of coaches two weeks earlier in France, though they did not give out much. Veteran journalist and member of the Committee that conducted the interview dismissed reports that they are ready to appoint Frenchman Philippe Trousier as the new Lions’ coach. He however confirmed that the Frenchman had applied for the job through his lawyer but that he was unreachable by phone when contacted.
As concerns the construction of a new FECAFOOT building, the President of the Normalization Committee said the project has been handed to a firm to see its completion before the start of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon
“Given that we are hosts of the 2019 AFCON, we will entertain visitors from the four corners of the continent, so we need to put up a befitting structure to send out a positive image of our country to the rest of the world,” Happi said.
He equally reaffirmed Cameroon’s strong support for Morocco’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup which he says is a result of strong relations between both countries and called for other African countries to throw their weight behind the North African country.
By Francis Ajumane

CONAROAD evaluates preparedness for 2019 AFCON

Road contracting companies without categorization certificates will lose the privilege to tender files for the award of contracts. The information was disclosed by the Prime Minister and Head of Government, Philemon Yang, in his capacity as Chairperson of the National Road Board, CONAROAD. He was speaking in Yaounde, Thursday, May 24, 2018, at the start of the 22nd session of the board which converged members on the main building of the Prime Ministry in Yaounde.
Prime Minister Yang seized the session billed to evaluate the preparedness of road infrastructure ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations to be proudly hosted by Cameroon, to announce the launch of categorization of actors in the road construction and rehabilitation sector. He added that it is one of the pipeline projects whose realization will soon see the light of day.
The innovation whose implementation will qualify actors into five categories, ranging from A-D, is programmed to begin in 2019. It is believed this will help regularize the road construction sector which stakeholders opine has been in an unexcused disarray.

Some of the participants at the board session boasted to have covered about 80% of work this far. Andrew Motanga Monjimba, Government Delegate to the Limbe City Council which hosts one of the Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON 2019 play sites, noted that, “as far as the town I manage is concerned regarding preparations for AFCON 2019, about 80 percent of work expected has been done. Access roads have been created, you can move from any part of the town to the stadium with ease. Much has been done but the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development has programmed other works to be done between now and the start of the game.”

For his part, the Permanent Secretary General of the Board, rejoiced that following the Prime Minister’s revelation, prospective companies will not forward files requesting to be awarded road contracts, without categorization certificates, beginning 2019. He went on to say it will cause a turnaround in the road transport sector, which he insinuated had been invaded by the corruption cankerworms.

The consultative body, CONAROAD, is charged with coordinating operations, projects, programs and policies in the road sector.

Meantime, this council session comes at a time when the National Union of Road Transporters is quaking with in-house fighting. The union is reportedly itchy to impede its National President, Simé Pierre , and get an interim President to replace him. Reports say they met in Yaounde last week to get an acting President and the meeting was aborted by elements of the Forces of Law and Order.

This 22nd CONAROAD meeting comes on the heels of appeals from different parts of the country for the Government to help their road networks which they say are begging for rehabilitation. As recurrent accidents have metamorphosed the road networks within the country into death traps, observers hope that the board members will not converge for allowances, but, will in deed strategize for better and safer roads.
By Claudia Nsono

CAF jolts Cameroon over AFCON 2019 hosting

Reactions by Africa’s apex football governing body Confederation of African Football, CAF regarding the preparedness or otherwise of Cameroon to host the upcoming 2019 edition of continental football jamboree, still paint a sombre picture for the country of Indomitable Lions less than 18 months to actual commencement.

With Cameroon sweltering in preparations for the African Cup of Nations 2019 and with the CAF inspection team seemingly not still satisfied with the level of preparedness for the sports jamboree next year, CAF’s President Ahmad Ahmad has challenged Cameroon to address shortfalls regarding their hosting prerogative to the 2019 CAF tournament.

This is the first comment from the football governing body’s boss after the CAF inspection team visited the country last month. Ahmad was speaking on Friday after CAF’s 40th General Assembly, held in Casablanca that on the sideline also, hosted the African Nations Championship (CHAN) final last Sunday.

He said “there is still a shortfall between the report from the recent inspection team visit and the requirements we have set out. It is now up to Cameroon to make up this shortfall as fast as possible, that is all I can tell you.”

He added saying, “you should know that I am a man who keeps his word and my board will not change one iota of the decision taken with regard to the proposed resolution. You can consult our requirements (known in French as cahier de charges) I think we can even put it up on the website if need be, to be transparent. We will see what happens for CAN 2019,” he ended.

With the reactions of the CAF boss, many pundits are still stressing on the fact that, if by the required date by CAF, Cameroon is still below level of expectations, the sports jamboree could easily be lured out of her hands and given to another country which is able and capable of handling the tournament without any problems. However, Cameroon’s hired contractors still assure the nervous Cameroonian public and officials that, they will meet the expectations of CAF in time.

By Atembeh Ngewung Lordfred

Douala cycling fiesta prompts heavy traffic jam

Like every other aspect of national life that is predicated on improvisation instead of pro-activeness, the city of Douala had its traffic circulation arteries blocked Wednesday, January 31, almost rendering commuters helpless owing to absence of contingency arrangements for a hitch-free kickoff of the U23 international cycling tour.

The race reserved for under-23 cyclists brought together 17 teams from 15 countries although it was a difficult pill to swallow for denizens in Douala as traffic was halted on all major roads in the city to give way for the race.

Eritrea’s Nathaneal Mebrahton, Winner

Major axis in town like the Boulevard de la Republique in Akwa, École Publique, Feu Rouge Bessengue, Carrefour Agip, Ndokoti and Ange Raphaël were all blocked as the 147 km race flagged off from Limbe reached the city.

This left workers, traders and businessmen frustrated as they trekked for long distances to get to their houses.

“I was stuck in Ndokotti for over two hours because there were free circulation for vehicles and bikes. Even the pedestrian path was blocked by people who came to watch as spectators so it was even difficult walking on foot,” a Douala resident Collins Tenkeu, told The Rambler.

“The Government needs to choose a lane out of town when next they want to organize such a competition to avoid slowing down activities in town. It is really frustrating to lose a whole day because of a race which is bringing no financial benefits to us,” another resident in Douala said.

Others, however, preferred to blame the situation on the Douala City Council for failing to provide adequate secondary roads in the city that could help decongest traffic when such instances present themselves.

By 6:00pm local time, the race had wrapped up but the town remained caught in the traffic web as bike riders took advantage to make brisk business with exorbitant fares.

For two days spent in Douala by the caravan, it was hell on earth for denizens with the traffic under the grueling sun. By 2pm when the caravan entered into town from the Southwest Region, the city had been cut into two as it had become impossible to cross on the Wouri Bridge.

Talking about the race proper, the first lap saw foreigners totally dominate the lane as Eritrea’s Nathaneal Mebrahton emerged winner in 2h 25’24. He was 11 minutes clear of his compatriot Selemun Zemenses, while Morocco’s Chokri El Mehdi finished a close third. Surprisingly, the winner of the Tropical Amissa Bongo in Gabon, Rwanda’s Areruya Joseph could only settle for fourth place.

The first Cameroonian, Ismael Voukeng, could only manage at the fifteenth place as it was a poor show in a harsh weather that forced many riders to abandon the race while others faced mechanical problems.

The second lap of the race was equally won by an Eritrean Daniel Habtemchael finishing ahead of Rwandan Jean Paul Rene Ukinwabo by sprint on the finish line. The podium was completed by Gregory Rougier-Lagane from the Mauritius Island.

The best team of the competition also qualifies for the “coupe de l’avenir” to take place in France next year.

By Francis Ajumane

CAF inspection team leaves hope in Southwest Region

Even as some shortcomings relating to absence of regular water supply and poor maintenance of existing infrastructure in stadia had been signaled as some of the hitches the visiting CAF inspection team was going to be grappling with during their visit to the Southwest Region, the obvious camaraderie and acquiescence to explanations proffered by Cameroonian officials all point to a fait accompli quitus to Cameroon’s hosting of next year’s CAF football jamboree.

CAF team saluting officials after completing field tour

After inspecting stadia and other facilities in relation to hosting of next year’s African football jamboree, AFCON 2019 in Yaounde, Bafoussam and Garoua, CAF inspection team headed by Ishmael Wally visited the Southwest Region Wednesday, January 17, and ended their tour at the Limbe Omnisport Stadium Thursday January 18, where they spent more than an hour peering into every facility given that it is the main playing field.

At the Buea Town Municipal Stadium, the field was adjudged small after the team had measured its dimension while also taking into consideration the quality of the turf and other facilities. The same action was replicated at the Molyko Stadium.

While in Limbe, they visited hotels, Limbe Omnisport Stadium Annex including Centenary and Middle Farms Stadiums meant for training. At the end of the inspection the entourage had a joint reception in Limbe and at the end with smiles on their faces, the CAF officials bade farewell with to Southwest Governor and other officials. Their assessment is yet to be communicated.

Comic relief

On day two of the delegation’s tour, while the entourage was on its way to the Limbe Omnisport Stadium, the convoy was interrupted at Mile Four, where an allegedly mentally deranged man threw a stone at the convoy. However, when the Presidential Guards accompanying the delegation descended to arrest him, he threw away the marble he was holding and greeted them in military style. This incident caused a commotion as he, unfortunately, received some slaps and was carried to the Limbe Omnisport Stadium after which he was given some instructions which he followed meticulously. His actions made those present to doubt if he was mentally okay or pretending. After several pleas and calls for him not to be taken to Yaoundé, the forces carried him out of the stadium. It is however, alleged he was taken to a nearby police station in Limbe for interrogation.

By Relindise Ebune





AFCON preparations guzzles Littoral Region budget

In line with Presidential edict to the effect that all resources necessary for the successful hosting of the 2019 African Cup of Nation, AFCON, by Cameroon be put at high premium, preparations for the for the sports fiesta in the Littoral Region are already on high gear as reflected in the 2018 financial year budget launched recently in Douala, with 30 percent of the national budget in allocation.

The budget which went operational on January 10 after its launch at the Littoral Governor’s office stands at 71, 269, 813, 390 FCFA, exactly 28.6 percent of the FCFA 4,516.5 billion that make up the state budget.

In terms of implementation, priority sectors of the budget include organization of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, construction of the Japoma stadium, rehabilitation of the Omnisports and Mbappe Leppé stadia, development of the East and West entrances of Douala, completion of works on the second bridge over the River Wouri and hygiene and sanitation in the city of Douala.

Implementation guidelines for the budget have been presented to various authorities, programme managers, contracting authorities, finance controllers, public accountants and public and private partners.

As usual, revenue will rely heavily on the total mobilization of non-petroleum resources.

The execution of the said budget will be guided by the search for greater socioeconomic efficiency in spending, the improvement of the public service and the priority settlement of the debt due to state suppliers, mainly small and medium size enterprises.

In the Littoral Region, three main areas are top priorities; “measures to increase revenue mobilization and improve the business climate, measures to reduce state expenses and rational distribution of public spending and the measures to strengthen various sectors to produce results.

Airport Tax causes storm

The first major change in the Region as the budget went operational was the increase in the airport tax from FCFA 10,000 to FCFA 25,000 as per the new finance law.

The immediate implementation of this measure did not go down well with some passengers at the Douala International Airport who reacted with surprise and anger-they had to pay extra FCFA 15,000 on their already purchased tickets which took into account the FCFA 10,000 in the 2017 finance law.

“This is pure theft. I bought my ticket since December 20, 2017, my return is scheduled for January 06, 2018 and I am asked in the name of the new finance law, to pay a surplus of 15,000 FCFA. Why? My ticket is not concerned by this law, “a passenger fumed at the airport.

However, according to a note signed by the Directorate General of Taxes and made public read: “The tax D7 on your airline tickets has been revised upwards. It goes from FCFA 10,000 to FCFA 25,000 according to the 2018 finance law. Also, for all the air tickets issued in 2017 for travels in 2018, the passenger will have to pay an additional FCAF 15,000 at the airport to regularize the tax in question which in 2017 stood at FCFA 10,000 instead of 25,000 FCFA for this year…”However, the airport duty stamp for local flights remains unchanged; FCFA 1000.

By Francis Ajumane

Northwest elite clubs threaten to boycott professional league

According to state-controlled media, CRTV Radio, Elite One and Two clubs in the Northwest Region have demanded PWD of Bamenda be reinstated into the MTN Elite Two else they will pull out of the Professional Football League.

‘Panthere Security’ of Garoua, Botafogo of Douala and Douala Athletic Club have been relegated from the MTN Elite Two based on their positions on the table.

But the Northwest football stakeholders are disputing the decision by the Chamber for Conciliation and Arbitration of the National Olympic and Sports Committee of Cameroon to add Botafogo a point in a match they played with Fovu of Baham.

It is ruled Fovu used a player with more than two identities in that game.

Yong Sports Academy, National Polytechnic, Bang Bullets and PWD say they will pull out of the leagues if that decision is upheld, accusing the officials of partiality and favouritism.

*By Ekonde Daniel

*UB Journalism Student





Opopo, Maumu Youths into Southwest mini round-robin final

Victoria United, aka OPOPO, and Maumu Youths are this year’s finalists of the Southwest mini round-robin tournament following their wins in the second leg semifinals at the Limbe Centenary Stadium on Sunday, December 3.

Nyame Rodrigues scored at extra time to give Opopo a 2-0 win over a rather stubborn EMMSA.

Swithbert Kum had scored at regular time to put Victoria United level on aggregate.

Earlier at the Limbe Centenary Stadium, Maumu Youths defeated St Peters 3-1 on penalties after conceding two goals in the game which kept them 2-2 on aggregate.

Captain for Maumu, Leonard Mendi Echu won’t be in the final after receiving a red card.

That was after St Peters were reduced to 10 men when Eric Monkam was sent off by a red card.

Victoria United will be in the final for the second time in two years.

Last year they defeated Mount Cameroon to represent the Region in the national round-robin games wherein they came back empty handed.

For Maumu Youths, it would be their first final in their tiny football history.

The winner will participate in the round-robin tournament in January 5, 2018 that qualifies teams into the MTN Elite Two.

*By Ekonde Daniel

*UB Journalism Student

EEMSA stun OPOPO in mini round-robin clash

Victoria United of Limbe, alias Opopo were stunned 1-0 by impressive Esoh Eteki Memorial Sports Academy, EEMSA, in the first leg semifinals of the Southwest mini round-robin football competition at the Molyko ‘Omnisport’ Stadium.

The Limbe side that started the game with poor options and long passes were taken by surprise at the 34th minute when EMMSA’s Ambah Yannick capitalized from a corner and beat Opopo’s Tayiwoh Princewill in goal.

After the goal, Coach Ekokobe Joseph’s boys continued to withstand the timid pressure from Victoria United who appeared to have lost their strength and purpose of the game.

EEMSA were thick and round at the midfield and defence, frustrating Victoria United’s forwards; Swithbert Kum and Charles Kelly who couldn’t find the right formula to a comeback.

Festus Ebere’s steadfastness in between the sticks for Esoh Eteki Memorial Sports Academy also accounted for Opopo’s painful defeat. He stopped four shots from Victoria United players, giving EEMSA the hard earned victory.

Coach Mbock Maput’s Victoria United must win the return leg if the team must continue their adventure of retaining the national ‘inter pool’ ticket for the Southwest.

In the second semifinal game at the same venue, Maumu Youths thrashed St Peters of Limbe 2-0.

By Ekonde Daniel

*UB Journalism Student