East London football fans are ecstatic with the news that Samuel Eto’o and Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions are considering using East London as their base camp for the FIFA World Cup next year.
According to a Daily Dispatch report, a Buffalo City Municipality delegation made up of Executive Mayor Zukisa Faku, Vuyo Zambodla, director in the mayor’s office, and Roy Young, 2010 project manager, went to Yaounde earlier this month.
They met with the Cameroon Football Association hierarchy and the government’s sports minister in an attempt to coax them to use East London.
The strategy – in line with BCM’s 2010 Legacy project and following talks with various stakeholders, including the Sports Minister, the Cameroon FA secretary-general and its president in the Cameroon capital – resulted in an encouraging response. Young said the BCM delegation was well-received by their hosts.
“We had a very good response and, when we went there, we were well accepted.
“We gave a presentation to the Minister of Sport and the CFA (Cameroon FA) technical committee, who will evaluate our proposal and who will then make recommendations for their president to consider. We are waiting now for their response.
“It looks very positive and at this point I have just received an e-mail to say that the CFA will be sending a delegation to the city within the next two days to see what we can offer them in terms of accommodation and playing facilities.”
He said the CFA had decided to have a “Cameroon village” for their fans.
“They have made a decision about setting up a fan village here and have given an indication that they want their base to be away from the city centre for their accommodation needs. I am sure when they see what we can offer they will go for it.”
Young said the CFA would be competing in the African Nations Cup in January and want to finalise their base camp as soon as possible.
Cameroon, who have qualified a record five times for Africa, are ranked number one on the continent and are 11th in the latest FIFA World Rankings.
The country is in Group E of the World Cup with the Netherlands, Denmark and Japan.