CAMEROON are taking their football clash against Zimbabwe in the first round, first leg of the All-Africa Games on March 21 in Harare seriously with the coach sending back players who turned up for training with stylish hair-dos.
By TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
The qualifiers of the 11th edition of the- All African Games will take place in Brazzaville-Congo in September.
In order to retain the best for the competition, Cameroon coach, Pierre Ndjili Ndengue published a list of 44 players who were divided into two groups.
According to reports from Yaonde, the first group comprising 22 players began training on Monday at the Fecafoot Technical Centre in Odza near Yaoundé, while the second group began training on March 8.
And to show their seriousness in the competition, Ndjili sent back players who turned up for training with stylish hair-dos to go and take haircuts before coming back for training.
Pierre Ndjili stated that the objective of the squad was not only to qualify for the Games, but also the Olympic Games of 2016 to take place in Rio de Janeiro.
The selected players for now come from the League One and Two championships as well as regional championships.
The team will eventually be completed with professional players as there is room for a certain number of mature professional players in the squad.
Cameroon’s greatest achievement is the gold medal won during the Olympic Games in Sydney in the year 2000 where the likes of Samuel Eto’o made their mark and went on to acquire God-like status both in their home countries and in the European leagues.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) communications manager Xolisani Gwesela said they would engage Caps United over the release of three of their players to the national team.
Young Warriors coach Kalisto Pasuwa had called up three Caps United players into camp — Ronald Pfumbidzai, Kudzai Madzivanyika and Takudzwa Mahori — but the Harare giants coach Mark Harrison has refused to have them released for national duty on the grounds that the match falls outside the Fifa calendar for international matches.
Three other foreign-based players Kuda Mahachi, who plays for South African ginats Mamelodi Sundowns, Netherlands-based Marvelous Nakamba and England-based Macaulley Bonne will also not be part of the squad to face Cameroon after their respective clubs refused to sanction their release on the same grounds.
This has left Pasuwa with a largely inexperienced squad ahead of the Cameroon tie after four FC Platinum players Kelvin Moyo, Emmanuel Mandiranga, Wisdom Mutasa and Walter Musona were also excused because they travelling to Tanzania for the Caf Confederation Cup tie against Young Africans this weekend.
Gwesela, however, believes they will reach an agreement with Caps United. “We will engage Caps United on the release of these players. Caps United is our club and we will engage them so that they can release the players.
We will also keep trying to engage the foreign clubs for the release of these players but the coaches will work the players that are in camp at the moment,” said Gwesela.