Navy Captain Cyrille Serge ATONFACK GUEMO Head of Communication Division / MINDEF

Cameroon : CHAN 2021: CHALLENGE OF INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE PERFORMANCE

The African Nations Football Championship (CHAN) 2021, opens up new opportunities for communion and sharing. Cameroon being responsible for organizing this competition allows an entire continent to celebrate Football at its true value. The Head of the Communication Division of the Ministry of Defense (MINDEF), Captain of Navy  Cyrille Serge Atonfack Guemo, calls out this living together and this communion in our weekly editorial.  It read as follows on January 16, 2021 :

"Saturday January 16, 2021, here we are. The 6th African Nations Football Championship will kick off In a few hours. The competition, which runs until February 7, will count 16 selections made up of home based players of the different countries. For those local footballers with aspirations, CHAN is the ideal springboard, given the presence of prospectors from influential clubs. This is to say if the African Nations Football Championship is a window to showcase talent. It will be up to each player to catch the eye of the recruiter, in order to hope to build a golden future in Europe, America or Asia.

However, the challenge of individual performance is not the only one to be taken up on this occasion, football remaining a team sport, the result of which determines the place and rank of a country on the very competitive chessboard of the responsibilities in the organization of international competitions. One could thus suspect that by obtaining the privilege of successively hosting the 6th CHAN and the African Cup of Nations-CAN 2022, Cameroon has not finished reaping the laurels of the sensational epic of the Indomitable Lions at the 1990 World Cup in Italy.

But to do this, it was necessary to take up the infrastructural challenge. Despite a gloomy economic environment further accentuated by the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, our country has achieved the feat of offering the world of sport, tourism and other related sectors of activity, stadia, hotels, hospitals, road services to make jealous, many nations who will have played with their interpersonal skills, to steal from us what seems to once again, consolidate the prestige of Cameroon within the highest authorities of the planet.

After the intense months of preparations, it's now time for the game. And no doubt that in the stands, in front of the television sets or with their ears glued to the radio sets, the euphoria of millions of Africans will faithfully embrace the curve of the bounces and rebounds of the round ball.

For us Cameroonians who enjoy the advantage of proximity to the event, a third challenge arises, that of blocking the way to the coronavirus, which only asks to transform our festive gatherings into hotbeds of contamination. This reality will also be taken into account by international observers called upon to comment on the health danger in our country. It should be kept in mind, that this CHAN is a kind of preparatory session for CAN 2022, the great continental football festival also scheduled on Cameroonian soil. Hence the necessary and scrupulous respect for barrier measures of hygiene and physical distancing.

The fourth constraint in front of us takes on the appearance of a security challenge, the atmosphere of effervescence being liable to lend itself to some recklessness or malice, either on the road, in neighbourhoods, or more simply in crowded places. In all these places, the deployment of law enforcement forces is intended to reassure honest citizens, at the same time as it serves as a scarecrow to malicious individuals. The fact remains that this security will only be effective in its totality and its entirety if our populations, civic in spirit, take to heart to report any suspicious movement noted in their midst.

Thus, after a CHAN that we wish victorious for our colours, we can steadily say welcome to the CAN".

Odile Pahai