The Lionesses football squad are to wave their country’s flag and join the South African national team in representing their continent at the women’s senior Olympics at London 2012, as they yesterday secured the place, their male counterparts missed out.
Cameroon and South Africa will join The Women’s Olympics football tournament as the principal African representatives. Cameroon’s women’s football senior team qualified for the event by beating Nigeria on the October 22, 2011.
Earlier this year, the Cameroonian president of the African Football Federation , Issa Hayatou, was controversially appointed by FIFA as head of the organising committee for the Olympics Football 2012 tournament while he is still under investigation by the International Olympic Committee for alleged corruption, said he was confident.
The Cameroonian lioness’s victory roar comes only a few weeks after they won the gold medal at the Women’s Football tournament of the All Africa Games in Mozambique.
This achievement will boost women football in Cameroon which has always been overshadowed by men’s football.
Zouga Edoa the Cameroonian who scored the first goal against Nigeria said: the team was thrilled.
“Our joy is immense ; what gives us the most pleasure is that we achieved this against Nigeria, who has stopped us from reaching the last World Cup final. Today is our turn.” she added.
Having qualified for the FIFA World cup six times (1982, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010), more than any other African nation, Cameroon male football team was the first African team to get to the quarter final of the 1990 world cup losing to England in extra time.
Cameroon male football team has also won four African Cup of Nation and a gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics. Banyana Banyana of South Africa also did their utmost to make the London 2012 history back in August when they beat Ethiopia 3-0 in Johannesburg.
The Financial Times report that Chris Allison, the national Olympic security co-ordinator, told to the London Assembly that “The government has earmarked £ 600 m for security from the £ 9.3bn Olympics budget, and part of the £2bn contingency within the budget can be drawn on for security purposes.”
Countries who had failed to secure their historic passage at the London Olympics can’t imagine what they will be missing.
Aruba and Seychelles may have never sent more than six athletes to any edition of the Olympics but have at least competed mainly in athletics, swimming, sailing, judo and weightlifting. What really count is to be represented after all.
Finishing touches and highest security standard are on-going in London to make the 2012 Olympics the “must see before you die” event.