YAOUNDE, 11/05/02 – Cameroon’s coach Winifred Schafer has said he is targeting a last four place for the Indomitable Lions.
« The moment for an African team to reach the semi-finals has come », Schafer said in Yaounde, where the team was receiving an official send-off from the Prime Minister of Cameroon, Peter Musonge.
Schafer says Cameroon are Africa’s team
Schafer insisted the continent was behind his players.
« It’s Cameroon that represent Africa in the World Cup, not South Africa or Nigeria. » he said.
« And for us to make Africa proud we need discipline, courage, good preparation and luck. »
« Our objective in the World Cup is to reach the semi-finals, » he said.
« We know this is possible because of the determination and passion of the players. »
Mohamed made reference to the government’s backing of the team before the Mali 2002 Nations Cup campaign, in which the Indomitable Lions triumphed.
« Four months ago you (prime minister Musonge) received us here before the Nations Cup. It is a similar event today, » Mohamed said.
« The advice, guests and decor are similar. Consequently the result should be similar. »
However, skipper Rigobert Song sounded more modest.
Speaking on behalf of the players, Song said their priority was to do better in the 1994 and 1998 World Cup finals where the Lions crashed out in the first round.
« We are aware of our mission, » Song said.
« Our spirits are high and we’ll do our best to ameliorate our performances in the last two World Cup finals. We’ll go as far as possible in the competition. »
The Prime Minister himself promised the team complete government support.
« Because your know your job and do it well, this nation can count on you, » he added.