Cameroon have further upset their Japanese hosts after several players refused to attend a belated welcoming ceremony, and those that did, did so reluctantly. « Finally they are here, » said the mayor of Fujiyoshida Tsutomu Takekawa.
Cameroon arrived in the Far East five days later than scheduled, due to a row over bonuses that kept them grounded in Paris.
This scuppered the hosts welcome plans, and a disappointed local population were forced to rearrange the welcoming ceremony until after Cameroon’s opening game, a 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland on Saturday.
Patrick Mboma simply refused to move from the hotel to the Fujiyoshida venue, and several players stayed with him, pleading tiredness.
Those who did arrive were treated to a lavish ceremony, and received a grudging good luck message from Mayor Takekawa.
« We’ll do all we can to enable the team to participate in the World Cup under the best of conditions. We wish them good luck, » said Takekawa.
Cameroon face Saudi Arabia on Thursday, before playing Germany in their final Group E game on June 11.