Football in Cameroon
Football is the clear number one sport in Cameroon. The national team has qualified for the FIFA World Cup finals five times (1982, 1990, 1994, 1998, and 2002), and reaching the quarter-finals in Italy in 1990 was the Cameroonians best performance so far. Cameroon's greatest success outside of Africa was winning the gold medal at the Olympic Football Tournament in Sydney in 2000, while the nation has won the African Cup of Nations four times (1984, 1988, 1998 and 2002) in twelve appearances at the final competition. Two coaches have had a major influence on football in Cameroon: Jean Manga Onguene, who won over 100 caps as a player, took the senior national team to the FIFA World Cup finals on four consecutive occasions, and helped the youth team secure the African Championship. Today, he heads the Goal Development Office in Yaoundé; Jean Paul Akono was the coach of the victorious Olympic team. Cameroon has regularly produced promising players, who have ultimately played professional football in Europe. Roger Milla (in France with Valenciennes, Monaco, Bastia, and Montpellier), Thomas Nkono (with Espanol in Spain) and Joseph Antoine Bell (in France with Bordeaux and Marseille) were the most famous players in recent years, who have since given way to Samuel Eto'o (Real Mallorca, Spain), Salomon Olembe (Marseille), Lauren Etame Mayer (Arsenal), Rigobert Song (Lens, France), and Gérémi Sorel Njitap (Chelsea). Football in Cameroon suffered a cruel loss with the sudden death of 28-year-old international Marc Vivien Foé (whose clubs included Olympique Lyons and Manchester City). Foé collapsed during one of the semi-finals of the FIFA Confederations Cup France 2003 and later died in the stadium despite immediate attempts to resuscitate him.
The first Goal Project
At its meeting on 1 May 2003, the Goal Bureau approved a project to build a training centre in Yaoundé. The project will be financed by the Goal Programme. The complex comprises a football pitch, accommodation, team meeting rooms and dressing rooms. It will offer excellent facilities for national teams at all levels to prepare for international matches. Moreover, it will be used to stage courses as part of a range of development programmes. New projects in youth and women's football are being planned and should be ready for implementation by the time that the centre is finished. The FIFA Financial Assistance Programme covered the costs for the renovation of the headquarters of the national association in Yaoundé in 2001. A long-term plan, drawn up in association with the Goal Development Office in Yaoundé, will help to consolidate all of the national association's activities.
Use of FAP funds
Financing of Goal project
National youth training centre in Yaoundé
Project approved
1 May 2003
Financed by
Goal USD 400,000 FAP USD 473,720 Association USD 100,000 Total cost USD 973,720