The Bamenda Pre-Season Solidarity Tournament Wasn't A Lap Of Luxury
By Raymond Dingana
No one needs a soothsayer to be told that the maiden edition of the Bamenda Pre- Season Solidarity Tournamant organised at the St.Paul Field Mile 3 Nkwen was not a bed of roses.
The hundreds who turned out to watch matches had to stand on their feet under the scorching heat of the sun for hours, inhaling the dust from the dust infested pitch.
The players too had their own share of the dust and the poor nature of the playground.
There were times that spectators and players lost sight of the ball and other activities on the pitch because the dust blinded them.
However, the challenges did very little to detare lovers of the beautiful game from answering present to cheer their darling teams.
The poor and dusty nature of the pitch could explain why during the finals of the tournament that was played over the weekend, calls for the Northwest region to have befitting stadiums intensified.
The calls came from both the spectators and other football lovers and stakeholders who could not comprehend why in the 21 century and in a football country like Cameroon, a region like the Northwest with five teams in the Professional League should be having such an "insult" in the name of football pitches.
the major challenge we faced was at the level of the pitch which did not permit the teams play the amazing football they are known for, Nji Nelson Chefor, President, Bemanda Pre season solidarity tournament organising commitee noted. We had to go an extra mile to try to subdue the dust with water.
Apart from the brown powder-like nature of the playground which to many was unqualified to host a competition of that magnitude, the financial aspect of the competition was also another issue,
we managed to overcome this problem to a certain level thanks to sponsors like Chi Miterand amongst others. I want to thank them in a very special way for standing with us this far not leaving out the Northwest Regional bureau of FECAFOOT, Nji Nelson indicated.
Adding his voice for the situation of pitches worth the salt to see the light of day in the region, the assistant president of Rangers FC of Bafut said,
We are pleading that football stakeholders should give us footabll fields in the region because we have proven beyond every reasonable doubt that we deserve it. The poor state of playgrounds is trampling on the quality of football we have in this region, Ambe Samuel Ngwa said.Some weeks back, the Head of Missions at the Cameroon Footbal Federation, FECAFOOT was on a working visit to Bamenda sent by FECAFOOT president, Samuel Eto'o Fils.
Maboang visited the abandoned Bamenda Municipal Stadium which is gradually being transformed in to a farm and almost break down in tears,
The principal reason for me here is to see that the Bamenda Municipal Stadium is ready in record time. The national selection played a match here against a Northwest team 35 years ago before the world cup, today looking at the stadium i feel like crying, my heart is broken, he lamented.
Mbigha Felix who is President of FECAFOOT Northwest called on the authorities to lift the ban on the stadium so that works can resume.
I want to call on the authorities to prove that the Northwest and Southwest are really enjoying a speacial status . Let it manefest in football infrastructure especially the stadium in Bamenda. There is a case in court, if the government can lift the ban, we are ready to work with the contractor for this stadium to be ready before the start of the football season, said Mbigha.
Fingers are now crossed to see if the authorities will listen to the cry of the population and do what is right for the Bamenda Municipal Stadium to be ready before the start of the new football season.
Worthy of note is the fact that the first ever Bamenda pre season solidarity tournament ended with Rangers FC of Bafut white washing Rainbow FC of Bamenda to lift the trophy.
PWD of Bamenda grabbed the third position after beating Hilltop strikers 3-1.
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