Cameroon friendly with Egypt cancelled over security concerns
Cameroon were forced to cancel a friendly that was due to take place in Alexandria against Egypt earlier this week.
Security problems were cited as the reason for the cancellation of the match, with Egypt’s Premier League still yet to resume after a riot at the end of a match in February led to the deaths of dozens of fans and the suspension of football in the country.
The cancellation of the friendly comes at a difficult moment for two of African football’s biggest names.
As one of the giants of African football, Cameroon (pictured top) have won the Africa Cup of Nations four times and took home the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, as well as being the first country in the continent to reach the last eight of a FIFA World Cup.
Meanwhile, Egypt won the three African Nations Cup titles between 2006 and 2010, but failed to qualify for this year’s event and were embarrassed by the Central African Republic in the first round of qualifiers for the tournament in South Africa next year.
Cameroon could face a similarly embarrassing failure to make it to South Africa following their shock first leg defeat in the qualifiers last week.
Cameroon were stunned as Cape Verde Islands beat them 2-0 in Praia, to open up a commanding lead heading into next month’s second leg.
Cape Verde have never previously qualified for a major international tournament and lost their opening two Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifiers to Tunisia and Sierra Leone.
The winners of this tie will make it to South Africa for the 2013 African Nations Cup, and if Cameroon fail, they will have missed out on qualification for the second time in a row after they missed the chance to reach Equatorial Guinea and Gabon earlier this year.
That has led to fans demonstrating outside the offices of the Cameroon Football Federation in Yaoundé, forcing police and the military to intervene to protect the premises.
The situation exacerbates the crisis in Cameroonian football after one of the country’s greatest ever players, Samuel Eto’o, refused to play for the national team in the qualifiers.
The Anzhi Makhachkala striker, who has won the Champions League with Barcelona and Inter Milan, said that Cameroonian football was run amateurishly in a public letter outlining his reasons why he would not compete for them anymore.