By Basil K Mbuye
The President of the Southwest bureau of the Cameroon Football Federation, FECAFOOT, Dr.Thomas NdiveMulungu, has assured footballers in the Region that the country’s football body “is concerned about them.”
“…the federation is very concerned about players and stakeholders of football in the Southwest Region and also the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the game of football.” The emblematic leader at the helm of football in the Southwest Region was speaking during the handing over of FECAFOOT COVID-19 relief gifts. The gifts were handed over to players of the Southwest Regional League which was cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The handing of the gifts to the players took place on Thursday, August 13, at the Southwest FECAFOOT headquarters in Buea. The relief was sent by the National FECAFOOT bureau to be distributed to all the clubs in the Regional Leagues in all the 10Regions of Cameroon.
He also advised the players to respect all the measures to curb the spread of this pandemic.
“I urge you all to keep respecting all the measures put in place by the Government and health experts. Staying safe and alive should be our primary objective at this point in time. This is because none of us will be happy if we lost one of you,” President Dr. Thomas Ndive advised.
A minute of silence was observed in memory of the FIFA 1990 World Cup skipper, Stephen Tataw, who passed on a few days ago. Those who had died in the Region as a result of the COVID-19 were also given a minute of silence.
To the players, it was a great gesture from the FECAFOOT as some of them were able to have some food items to take home.
“This gesture by FECAFOOT is a step in the right direction. It is the first time such a thing has been done in the history of Cameroon Football, kudos to FECAFOOT. It is not much, but, all the same, it is a gesture and must be appreciated,” MathyNjoku of Prisons Buea Social Club said. Many players shared the view.
Coach Samuel Enobi Brandon of the Catholic University Sports Academy, CUSA, said he was overwhelmed.
“I want to appreciate FECAFOOT for such an initiative. Since I started as a coach, I have never witnessed this. The players feel catered for by FECAFOOT, especially as they have come on their own to receive it. CUSA has received it wholeheartedly. Things like this should continue from time to time.”
Meanwhile, players or members of staff of clubs like Buea United and Option Sports Academy were absent. This could have been as a result of a later which they purportedly wrote to the national FECAFOOT expressing their bitterness in respect of the gestures and other reasons. However, with the distribution still going on, they could decide to get theirs in the days ahead.
Some 520 players from 26 Southwest Regional League clubs are entitled to the relief gifts. Going by this, each club has 20 players to benefit from the FECAFOOT gesture.
Each player is entitled to 5kg of rice, 2 litres of vegetable oil, four sardine cans and face mask.