Exodus Of Home Based Players:Stop The Bleeding!

Indomitable Lions

Clubs in Cameroon are finding it hard to keep the best talents home while the continuous drain takes a toll on the various categories of the national team, at times even on the careers of the players

As always the case, reasons are always advanced whenever the national team fails to perform at any international tournament.

The crash of the Intermediate Lions at the 2022 African Nations Championship last Tuesday at the group stage is no exception.

A tournament meant for home-based talents has never been a fertile hunting ground for the Intermediate Lions since its inception.

Despite producing quality talents, Cameroon’s league has never really shown its true potential when it comes to the African Nations Championship and last Tuesday’s group stage elimination was another episode of the tragic story.

In trying to do a post mortem, fingers will be pointed at others, tactics will be criticised, rightly or wrongly. But the problems lie deeper.

Admit it or not, the local league which is still to hit top gear in terms of professionalism and competitiveness is drastically bleeding with the loss of quality players each year.

At the end of each season, the best talents are sucked out of the league for pastures new abroad, at times wherever the wind leads them.

The latest of such movements is the departure of the best player of last season, Souaibou Marou from Cotonsport of Garoua to Orlando Pirates in South Africa, snubbing the chance to play at the CHAN.

He moved just days after his team mate at Cotonsport of Garoua Felix Oukine who moved to a lower league side in Belgium.

Like the two, a couple of players who shone in the league last season all sought a move abroad. Bertrand Mani who finished top scorer in the league last season moved to Cape Town City in South Africa, Nkembe Enow who was also one of the top scorers in the league moved to Cunan FC in Mexico while Junior Kaaba moved to Ghana but it did not work out and he was released from his contract.

While these players cannot be blamed for seeking greener pastures abroad and taking the next step in their careers, the fact remains the league has been bleeding and measures need to be taken to at least reduce the trend in order to make the league more competitive, attractive and credible.

The latest debacle of the Intermediate Lions at the CHAN 2022 is just one of the indications of the bleeding. Cameroonian clubs involved in continental competitions have scarcely shown a positive image in the past years.

When the new management body took over at the helm of the Cameroon Football Federation in December 2021, one of its promises was to revive local football by improving on the working conditions of the main actors who are the players.  It was not expected to be done in one day or one year but the worry trend of player exodus shows more work is still left to be done to arrest the situation and make the league lucrative and attractive to its own players.

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