Jean René Atangana Mballa FECAFOOT chief scribe answers to our questions.
Did you expect this level of performance from the Lions ?
No. Not at all. We all expected to see our team go beyond this point, probably even do better than they did in Italia 90. I am really disappointed because it gives the impression we are not moving forward, we are marking time. In three World Cups (1994, 1998 and 2002) we have consistently been bundled out at the end of the first phase.
In your judgement, what really went wrong?
A lot of things. Suffice it to say that at the level of top competitions, a minor error of jugement, organisation or tactics attracts fatal consequences. You know we came from Africa with a time lap of at least eight hours and the delegation arrived under the conditions we all know. We had acrimonious stop overs in Paris particularly and then in Bombay. There was little time for the players to recover from the fatigue. You could see the tiredness in their three matches. The stopovers had repercussions on their programme of training.
But there was also the syndrome of money and the promotion of sponsors’ products that disrupted the serenity…?
Personally, I cannot say much on this subject. I did not know much about this subject given my illness although it must be said that for once the players did not complain about equipment. They had everything in abundance. About the change in our traditional colours, I can only say that my office deposited our national colours of green, red and yellow. I do not know how the white jersey came about.
Where do we go from this point?
We have to analyse the current situation and come out with concrete solutions. The nation has enjoyed the successes of a performing team for a long time and we may be going down the hill. These are natural laws. The time has come to restructure our football and recruit a permanent coach with an extended time frame. Hiring coaches on the eve of competitions does not render any useful services. At the level of the FECAFOOT we have to place emphasis on the detection of budding talents at the cadet and Junior levels to replace the ageing team. In so doing we will not have a long gap of poor results.