Dual Nationality…A Plus

It is no more a secret that Cameroon is a great football nation. A country well known at the four corners of the globe as Africa in miniature is not only hospitable, blessed with enormous cultural diversity, but also a reservoir for soccer talents. In the yesteryears, about ninety-nine per cent of these talents were nurtured in our local championships. That is born and bred in Cameroon, participated in the local championship before moving out of the country to ply their trade. Then, one could count with his fingers the number of Cameroonian footballers in foreign clubs. Today, things have changed. The number of Cameroonian players based abroad has skyrocketed. Apart from those who depart from the country, there are those who have dual nationality or citizenship.
Because of a relaxed clause in the eligibility rules of the International Football Federation (FIFA), that prompt players to decide on which country they want to represent in their careers before the age of 21, players with dual nationality have become highly solicited in Africa and Cameroon in particular to the extent that it is fast becoming a national debate on whether national team coaches should call them to camp or not. While it is true some soccer gurus argue that most of these players because of the fact that they have not played in the local championship or stayed in the country are not highly committed or lack the “fighting spirit” when called up for national duty, it is also true that the contributions of some of these players with dual nationality has been enormous to the country. The cases of Patrick Mboma, Lauren Etame Mayer, Benoit Assou Ekotto and now Choupo Moting are palpable testimonies. Most often, players with dual citizenship do base their choice on greater chances of playing at the international level or simply on the feeling of having a stronger emotional attachment to one country over another. The former is arguably the case of Kylian Mbappe, who has chosen to play for France rather than Cameroon or Algeria where his parents come from and this has worked well for France.
Thus, the luring of footballers with dual citizenship to play for a country’s national team like that of Cameroon has been a long-standing practice that can be traced from the early ...



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