By Nurudeen Obalola in Yaounde:
Following his team’s failure to reach the 2018 World Cup following last Friday’s 4-0 loss to Nigeria, coach of Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions Hugo Broos has appealed to Cameroonians to look forward to a successful defence of the African Cup of Nations which they are to host after winning in Gabon.
“I think we probably will not be in Russia next year. But after this World Cup, there will be AFCON 2019. We must prepare well for the AFCON. Hopefully, despite all the problems, that this AFCON will take place in this country. I believe that there is nothing more beautiful than to become a second African champion in his own country,” he said on Sunday at a press conference ahead of Monday’s return fixture against Nigeria.
Speculations raged in the aftermath of last Friday’s huge loss in Nigeria that he’s thrown in the towel but Broos has indicated that he wishes to stay in Cameroon at least until the next African Cup of Nations that Cameroon organizes in 2019.
“If it was up to me, I will stay in Cameroon. I am an ambitious person. There is no one in the world who has achieved all his projects.”
The Belgian made a glowing report of his time on the Cameroon job and gave himself a passmark.
He said: “When I arrived in Cameroon, I said that we must at all costs participate in the AFCON (2017 edition). We did it. Afterwards, I said that we must absolutely pass the first round: we did it. And we even did a little more; because we won the AFCON “.
On assumption, Broos had two missions. The first was to qualify and lead the national team to the semifinals of the African Cup of Nations 2017. The Belgian technician went a step better by leading the Lions to their fifth AFCON title in Gabon.
The second mission, to qualify the Cameroonian team for the next World Cup in Russia, has gone up in flames.
Going into Monday’s game, Cameroon sit in third place with two points behind Zambia on four points and group leaders Nigeria on nine maximum points.