Cameoon finally arrive at their Japanese base after an epic journey.
Cameroon’s World Cup trek ended when the squad finally touched down in Japan after a 60-plus hour journey.
The Indomitable Lions’ arrival also ended the long wait of their hosts in the tiny Japanese village of Nakatsue.
Cameroon’s journey began after their friendly against Denmark in Copenhagen the previous Friday.
After the game, a row over players’ bonuses initially delayed the squad by 48 hours in Paris.
Following a stop in Bombay, the squad’s charter plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Bangkok after failing to gain permission to fly over Cambodian, Vietnamese and Phillipine airspace.
Following another six-hour delay, the plane was allowed to leave Japan after obtaining clearance.
Cameroon’s embarrassing delay risked a loss of goodwill after local residents in Nakatsue were forced to cancel several events, including a welcome ceremony and a practice match with local high school students.
Lateness is rarely tolerated in Japan and some considered Cameroon’s tardy arrival an insult.
Nakatsue, with a population of 1,400, had spent £535,000 on improving lodging and training facilities for the visit of the Olympic and African champions.
Despite the delay, the Japanese hosts were stil preparing to roll out the red carpet in the small hours of the morning.
Yumi Katagiri, spokeswomen for the village’s Cameroon Base Camp Promotion Team, said: « The whole town is kind of on hold.
« Everybody is sort of half working, half waiting for the team to arrive. »
Nakatsue earned the right to host the Cameroon team after an intense two-year lobbying effort.
In addition to accommodating the team for ten days, the village is also paying for a first-class chef, and footing the bill for around 20 Cameroon supporters.