The Indomitable Lionnesses of Cameroon were eliminated from the ongoing Women’s World cup in France over the weekend, following their 3#0 defeat in the eighth finals, by the three Lionesses of England. The game was marred with many controversies, mostly centered around the Video Assistant Refereeing decisions. But in the aftermath of the Lionesses elimination, we highlight a number of factors relating to the organization of the tournament, which largely worked against the Lionesses.
The organization of the competition made life difficult for coach Alain Djeumfa and his girls. The lionesses played in two different cities, in the group stage. First against Canada at the La Mosson stadium in Montpellier, and had to relocate to Vallenciennes, where they played the Netherlands at the Stade du Hainaut in their second group game. As if that was not enough, the lionesses again had to cover the over 959.4 km from Vallenciennes back to Montpellier to play New Zealand, before making a return to Vallenciennes, for their eighth final game against England.
The build up to the game against the three lionesses, was not all rosey for the indomitable lionesses. The team was 30 minutes late on Saturday, for their recognizance session, following a breakdown in the bus provided to them by the organizing committee of the women’s world cup. We all watched the lionesses parked in small Vans like sardine, on their way their way to training.The constant up and down journeys, coupled with the breakdowns, which could all be attributed to poor organization on the part of the host Nation, made it difficult for the lionesses to fully respect their working schedule.
All hopes of getting a historic quarter final ticket, were dashed, and coincidentally in a similar fashion as in the 1990 world cup, when England controversially knocked out one of the best generation of Cameroon’s footballers, from the quarter finals of the world cup, though in the men’s category.
The VAR controversies, which seems to be targeting mostly African nation’s, saw Cameroon tasting what Nigeria had tasted earlier against host France. Yes the lionesses are out, but not without putting up a fight. It’s time to do the checks and balances of what went wrong in France 2019, discard the negatives and build on the positives, for a better tomorrow.