Members of the Cameroonian community in Qatar are counting down the days until the Cameroon national team kick off their FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 campaign against Switzerland at Al Janoub Stadium on November 13.
The African soccer giants will make their seventh World Cup appearance in Qatar after missing out on Russia in 2018. They were tied with five-time World Cup winners Brazil and Europeans Serbia and Switzerland in Group G of the tournament from November 20 to December 18.
In an interview with The peninsula, president of the Cameroonian community in Qatar, Rene Mebenga (photo) said: “It is important for us to see our country qualify and be ready to participate in the World Cup. It’s more important because we live and work in Qatar, and some have contributed directly or indirectly to the World Cup infrastructure.
Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions caused a major upset when they beat North African side Algeria in the final round of World Cup qualifying to book their place in the competition. Mebenga believes the tournament for the Cameroonians has received a lot more hype thanks to the new head of football administration, Samuel Eto’o. The former Barcelona legend played in the Qatar Stars League for Qatar Sports Club and is an ambassador for the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) for the World Cup.
“The way we qualified for the World Cup, beating Algeria in a stadium they had never lost before, was something special. We are not going to the World Cup just to play the first three games, but we have seven games to play, and we have to make sure we play them all, as Samuel Eto’o said, so it creates a lot of hype around our national team, giving many many fans feel like it’s time for Africa; we’re going to the World Cup final, so there’s a lot of hype around our team after that speech from Eto’o,” he said. he added.
According to Mebenga, African fans will feel at home in Qatar for the tournament due to certain cultural and societal similarities.
Speaking on the participation of the Cameroonian community in several activities organized to entertain the fans, Mebenga said, “We played during the FIFA Arab Cup, and they (SC) were happy with our performance. We have kept this relationship, and now we hope to be part of the cultural activities around the stadiums, maybe even in the streets, the airport or the fan zone areas.
Meanwhile, on the team’s chances for the tournament, Mebenga said there is ‘no limit’ to what the Lions can achieve when the World Cup kicks off in November .
“I think there is no limit. We put no limits on the team. We have something in Cameroon that we say in French, ‘The impossible is not Cameroonian!’ (The impossible is not Cameroonian!). That’s our mantra – the mindset is to go all the way, even better than the success of the 1990 team.”