When it was officially confirmed that Cameroon would host the 2016 edition of the Africa Female Cup of Nations, AFCON, many, if not most Cameroonians, feared that with our indadequate football infrastructure, it could be another forum for us to showcase our weaknesses in an area which ought to be our source of pride.
Thank God; hard work by government, commitment on the part of contractors and above all, patriotic and skillful performances by our Lionesses, altered the trend. From their preparations for the tournament up to the time of facing the “soccer music” on the football pitch, our female national team proved that they were prepared to defend our national colours. Well done our precious Lionesses despite the unpleasant surprise in the dying minutes of last Satdurday’s final at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium.
That these Lionesses were the only “soccer fighters” that made it to the finals without conceding a single goal from any other team is a sporting feat worth admiring and honouring in various forms.
While we praise the contractors, the media and administration for contributing their various quotas to give the event the importance it deserves, we congratulate not only our national female football team, the Lionesses, but also the other seven female teams for proving to us that African female football has a future.
In this appreciation of what we have lived during this 10th edition of AFCON 2016, we cannot minimise the patriotic spirit and support demonstrated by Cameroonians. That over 40,000 spectators turned out at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in support of their national team, and to demonstrate the calm witnessed in all that happened on the pitch during the final, is laudable. It showed respect not only for their President, Paul Biya and wife, Chantal Biya who were present at the stadium, but also portrayed our political maturity and peace-loving endowment.
In a country that has made a name in efforts to right colonial wrongs, and prove the power of dialogue instead of the bullet in international land disputes, who would doubt that Cameroon is prepared to continue to live by the virtues that make her a catalyst of peaceful co-existence and Africa in miniature?
AFCON 2016 has come and gone, but what a truth that the multi-dimensional fallouts of this event will remain green in the minds of those who lived all that went on in this country since 19 November up to last Saturday 3 December 2016?
As we look forward to more encounters in which our Lionesses will continue to defend our national colours, we give them a big “Thank You” for a task well tackled, despite the painful realities that arguably determine the winner of a football tournament.
Well-done, our Lionesses; continue in the same spirit as far as future competitions are concerned.