INSIDE AFCON 2019: Cameroon Yet to Arrive Egypt, Less Than 8hrs to Opening Ceremony

Cameroon celebrates being crowned Champions during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals, Afcon Final match between Egypt and Cameroon at the Libreville in Gabon on 05 February 2017 ©Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon are yet to arrive Egypt ahead of the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON), which kicks off today at the Cairo International Stadium, with hosts Egypt facing the Warriors of Zimbabwe.

Cameroon, who are the defending champions, staged a protest in the country’s capital, Yaounde due to unpaid bonuses by the Cameroon FA.

The Clarence Seedorf led side have remained in Cameroon, and seem unbothered about the consequences of their actions. The players released a public statement which outlines eleven conditions the country’s FA have defaulted and how they have managed when representing their country.

The statement includes the alleged neglect of the national team and disclosed that it is the disorganisation of the Cameroon FA that made some players like Liverpool’s Joël Matip, Stéphane Mbia and Nicolas Nkoulou refuse to honour the invitation to the squad for the 2019 AFCON.

Meanwhile, reports coming from Egypt have indicated that Nigeria’s first opponent in the expanded tournament, Burundi have also refused to partake in training due to unpaid bonuses and allowances for the tournament.

Earlier, tournament openers Zimbabwe had gone on a protest against the Zimbabwe FA over the same issue of wages and had threatened to boycott the opening match where they face hosts Egypt.

Busy Buddies learned that it took the intervention of the Nigeria Football Federation President, Amuaju Pinnick, who also serves as the chairman of the AFCON Organizing Committee, to beg and instruct that the bonuses be paid in order to save the reputation of the tournament and the continental body, CAF< at large.

Cameroon are billed to begin their title defence against Guinea-Bissau in their first Group F game at the Ismailia Stadium on Tuesday, and have shown no sign of budging until their requests are met.