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Lions licked into shape (BBC)

Cameroon’s Sport’s Minister is demanding a strict new regime for the Indomitable Lions following accusations of indiscipline and a series of poor performances.

Le 16 avril 2003

It has been reported that the demands have come all the way from Cameroon’s President Paul Biya.

« With strict instruction from the minister we’ve taken numbers of decisions to end what has been going on in the national team », announced Nguidjol Nlend Andre, an official with the Administrative Unit of National Football Teams.

The new disciplinary measures focus on punctuality and availability, and apply to all players, technical staff, medical crew and administrators.

« These measures have come from the highest level. We want to see the national team reinstate discipline, because whenever there is discipline we always record success, » Nguidjol said.

Whenever there is discipline we always record success

Nguidjol Nlend Andre
Following Cameroon’s first round ejection from the World Cup, President Paul Biya addressed the nation and said that players were expected to take discipline as seriously as the military.

This sentiment has now been turned into action.

« We’ve decided that if a player isn’t available to travel with the rest of the team at the same time, he will be excluded, » said Nguidjol.

It means that players based overseas will have even more difficulty fulfilling their club and international commitments.

Players who have mid-week matches for their clubs often have to travel direct to international games rather than moving with the team from Cameroon.

Biya wants military discipline
Rules for training are also being tightened.

All players are expected to assemble at least 15 minutes before each session.

And when players are scheduled to be resting, they must be doing just that.

Cameroon’s embattled coach, Winfried Schafer has been criticised for not maintaining discipline in the national team, which many believe is the root cause of the team’s recent poor form.

But others say the constant meddling by the Sport’s Minister and other officials in the running of the national team, disorganisation and constant disputes over money are more to blame.

Ignace Mizuh
BBC Sport, Yaounde


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