It’s been impossible to not pay attention to the talks on social media over the past 24 hours regarding the supposed non inclusion of Anglophone/English speaking influencers as part of the fans chosen by FECAFOOT to support the Lions during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
“Following, the confidence bestowed in me by football stakeholders of the South West Region who elected me as Regional President of FECAFOOT for the South West Region (From November 1 2021 – January 9th 2022) then executive committee member and one of the National Vice Presidents, where I also serve as the president of the Marketing and Media promotion committee, it’s my duty to inform stakeholders of the actual situation, particularly in the face of misinformation.
To begin with, in line with hosting a successful World Cup, the Supreme committee of the Qatar Heritage Foundation decided to offer fans who are pationate about football but do not have the means of traveling to have the unique experience of watching the FIFA World cup in Qatar by offering them an all expense paid trip to Qatar (Accomodation, flight tickets, local transportation). Worth noting is that this doesn’t entail watching a only the games of your country. The selected fans will have to watch almost all games of the group stage of the competition.
Initially, 25 spots were allocated to Cameroon. The selection of these fans was to be done by Fecafoot -Officiel.In order to get a true representation of fans across the country, the decision was taken to select fans from the various towns which hosted professional games across the country (Limbe, Douala, Yaounde, Bafoussam, Garoua etc) based on their passion and love for football. Some notable fans who always support the Indomitable Lions unconditionally were also selected.
In the case of the English speaking regions, only Limbe and Buea hosted matches as games were played in towns which have modern infrastructure. In addition, Limbe Hosted the National Interpools which I had the privilege of coordinating and which was most likely the best ever national Interpools to have taken place in Cameroon thanks to our joint efforts. It is through this competition that two fans were selected as part of the 25 fans to travel from Cameroon as part of the program sponsored by the Supreme Committee of Qatar Heritage Foundation.
They are Ayi Jeremy Mporebo aka Latest Choronko who is a very popular telephone vendor in Limbe and a fervent supporter of Victoria United F.C and Nchong Kelly aka Kelly La Force who is a fervent supporter of TIKO United F.C alias Samba Boys. Those who witnessed games in Limbe last season would not contest the fact that these are undoubtedly the best and most deserving fans from that part of the country. Feel free to check their Facebook pages and attest for yourself how long they have been supporting local football and the Indomitable Lions.
In addition to the 25 spots allocated to fans, an additional 25 spots were granted to artists and web influencers by the Supreme Committee of Qatar Heritage Foundation, hereby bringing the total number to 50. Here, the natural decision was to select artists and web influencers who have been promoting the image of FECAFOOT and Cameroon Football over the years. English Speaking artists and influencers amongst who include Tamula and Hoga were also selected.
It’s important to note that these choices were made over 3 months ago in order to comply with the formalities well ahead of time hereby making it impossible to swiftly integrate an artist/influencer who is presently trending as the quota of 50 given to us by the sponsors have already been filled.
This brings me to the case of Mr Fuh Denis; initiator of “WE GO TAKE THE CUP” slogan. For those who may not know, this slogan has been trending since June/July during which he made these assertions in support of Drivers Quarters F.C who ended up winning the Burj Khalifa Interquarter Competition in Buea. This slogan has been trending since then and has only gathered up steam ahead of the world cup, particularly as the president of FECAFOOT; Samuel Eto’o has on several occasions said Cameroon will win the world cup. On no single occasion has FECAFOOT ever used the slogan “WE GO TAKE THE CUP” on any media or promotional activity.
The banners spotted in Qatar with this slogan must have been printed by different supporters groups who have no affiliation or direct link to FECAFOOT. In any case, we go still take the cup. However, Mr Fuh Denis is undoubtedly the most trending English Speaking Cameroonian artist/web influencer at the moment. I would love to see more experienced web influencers hold his hand and show him the ropes so as to make the most out of his present popularity rather than clamoring for a trip to Qatar which may have no long term benefits for him. With the right strategy, he can become one of the most followed influencers on social media and become a millionaire within the next couple of months.
In conclusion, the assertion that FECAFOOT has left out English Speaking Cameroonians as part of the traveling team of fans and influencers to Qatar is entirely false. I know further claims will come up but please forgive us if we didn’t select your preffered fan/web influencer or if our prior communication on the selection process wasn’t appropriate. You can’t get it right all the time and constructive criticism is part of the process.
Though I have national responsibilities, I can’t ignore my origin and I would love to see more English speaking Cameroonians selected for similar events. I hereby use this opportunity to encourage all English Speaking artists/web influencers to carry more content on FECAFOOT and football in Cameroon and also assist us in promoting football in the North West and South West regions in particular and Cameroon as a whole.
For now, let’s focus our energy on supporting the Lions as we prepare to take on Switzerland on the 24th November 2022. Remember we haven’t won a world cup match since 2002 (for 20 years) so we need all the positive energy we can get. It will be tough, but we must believe.”
“We are allowed to dream!”
Henry Njalla Quan Jr
4th vice President
President of Marketing and Media Promotion committee