The President of the Southwest Bureau of the Cameroon Football Federation, FECAFOOT, Thomas Ndive Molungu, says the Southwest Bureau is close to getting a sponsor for the championship. In an interview granted The Post, the President talks about what has been done, since voted into office in November 2018, and what is to be done to better football in the Region. He called on all football stakeholders to put hands on deck to see that the glorious years in football that the Region experienced in the past are revived.
How can you evaluate your one year in office as Southwest FECAFOOT President?
I don’t think I should be the one evaluating myself. Stakeholders should evaluate what I have done for this past year. However, it has been a very fantastic year.
What has been your greatest challenge?
As a former club President, I don’t think the federation has been a challenge to me.
What have you achieved, so far, in your first year in office?
Firstly, running the football season for a whole year without any major incident. Secondly, involving all the major stakeholders in the game of football has been one of my greatest pleasures. This was one of my objectives when I took over, to involve everybody in the game of football. Again, the fan turnout in almost all the stadia has been great. We hope that it will increase this year.
How do you feel knowing that there is no League 1 or 2 team in the Region?
Feel? I have been a club President in the Region, so, it is not something that I feel as if it is personal. We are stakeholders in the game of football and it should concern all of us. It shouldn’t be the sole issue of the President of the League. I ran a football club for close to 10 years, which means that I have been fighting to see that the Region should have even a League One team, if possible. So, it is not an individual issue but a collective issue.
What is the Southwest FECAFOOT Bureau doing to bring back those glorious moments of Mount Cameroon FC, Elect Sport, Shooting Stars, among others?
We began by training the referees and coaches. We should be able to train stakeholders in the game and then inculcate it into football itself. We are preaching fair play and we believe that we will continue to go closer to the stadia where football has not been played in the past years. We will bring in the population, which is a major part of the game of football. Also, we are counting on the communication family which has been behind us this past one year and we pray that they continue to propagate football. We are also calling on the population to have passion in the game so that we can bring those glorious days.
After election, you promised to reduce the number of clubs in the Regional League, instead, the number has increased. What is accountable for the change?
First, if you look at the status of the FECAFOOT, you will discover that you don’t just decide. When we came in, there was a new regulation in FECAFOOT that allowed Regional Leagues to even increase the clubs. Noticing that there were a lot of football academies in the Region and a lot of people who wanted to promote the game of football, we could not just go ahead and reduce the number of clubs drastically as we thought. We had to adhere to the status of the federation.
What have you done to revitalise the Divisional Leagues as you promised?
We are doing a lot, I think so. This year, teams will be coming in from other Divisions which have never had a Regional League team. Also, if you look at Meme Division, about two teams will be coming in from the there. There will be a team coming in from the Manyemen area which has never had a team in the Regional League. This is an attempt to bring teams from the Divisional League into the Regional League. This year alone, we are bringing in about three or four teams from the Divisional Leagues into the Regional League which I think is a plus.
What is happening with Youth and Women football Leagues in the region?
Thanks for the question. Firstly, you have to understand that, in the female and youth football leagues, we have to integrate what is happening at the national level. It is only recently that they appointed people at the national level to carter for these two leagues. These two leagues are specialised leagues that will be running independently from the Regional League. Since the appointments; we are currently working on admitting clubs into these leagues. This year will be better than last year, because, many clubs will have to go in. We believe this year will be a better year for youth and female football leagues in the region.
You promised the creation of a sponsors’ forum for sponsors to run the league, open an account for sponsors to deposit money to run the league. What has been done, so far?
It is not done in a year. I have four or five years to run the league. We are presently working with a sponsor, and I hope this year, the sponsor might come in. I have had meetings with sponsors this year; two weeks ago I had a meeting with a serious sponsor, although they have their financial crisis. We shouldn’t forget that the Region, as a whole, is experiencing a serious financial crisis. Companies are not vibrant the way they used to be. You can’t force a company that is in crisis to sponsor football. However, we are working with some sponsors and we want to do what I termed “football for peace” in the Region. We have sent appeal letters to sponsors and some of them are proving to be positive.
Any innovations in the upcoming championship?
We will be introducing more discipline and fairplay into the championship. We started last year by training referees and coaches. We have to intensify the training on this call since they are the major stakeholders in this call. We believe that if every major stakeholder plays his or her part, we can have a wonderful championship this season. To the Southwest population, I will call on everybody to come out let us work together. I welcome ideas and opinions, especially constructive criticisms. Our dream is to get everyone on board.
Interviewed by Basil K Mbuye