YAOUNDE’, March 22, 2020 – Since March 18th, 2020, Cameroonian sport is in confinement. The measure follows the recommendations of the government to face the spread of the Coronavirus in the country. Indeed, on Tuesday March 17th, 2020, the Prime Minister, Joseph Dion NGUTE NGUTE, took strict measures to limit the movement and gathering of people throughout the national territory in response to the Coronavirus pandemic and in compliance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO). Those measures are 13, including the prohibition of the gatherings of more than fifty (50) persons throughout the national territory and the postponement of schools and university’s competitions.
Following the Head of Government, the Minister of Sports and Physical Education (MINSEP) sent a letter to the presidents of national sports associations on the preventive measures to be taken by the national sports movement to face the global coronavirus pandemic. Narcisse MOUELLE KOMBI asks the presidents of national sports associations to “reorganize the calendar of their activities in strict compliance with all relevant requirements, including those to avoid gatherings of more than fifty (50) people; […], respect of hygiene measures and attitudes enacted by WHO, and to consider a temporary suspension of your scheduled activities and especially those that are not essential”.
Reacting to these measures, the Executive Committee of the Cameroonian Football Federation (Fecafoot) decided, as of Wednesday, March 18th, 2020, “the suspension to further notice of all competitions organized under its aegis (friendly matches, professional championship, amateur championships, women’s championship, youth championship, Cameroon Cup, beach soccer and futsal) throughout the country”. FECAFOOT thus affirms that it is in line with the decisions already taken by FIFA and CAF for international competitions and matches.
Other national sports associations have also followed the same measures. “The Executive board of the Cameroonian Basketball Federation (Fecabasket) has decided, as from today, the immediate suspension, until further notice, of all competitions and activities under its lead – National Championships, Regional Championships, Corporate Championships, Mini Basketball…in all the ten regions of the country”. Through the suspension of its activities, the Cameroonian Basketball Federation says it is “in line with the decisions recently taken by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) regarding international competitions”.
Here and there, the objective is the same: to reduce the risks of spread of the COVID-19 throughout sport. The measures, coupled with containment, seems successful. SO far, no Cameroonian sportsman hasn’t been declared positive for Coronavirus. However, no date is mentioned for the resumption of national competitions. This will be determined on the basis of the achievement from the fight against Coronavirus, according to the heads of the national civil sports federations. However, the 2020 edition of the University Games scheduled for April has been cancelled. The annual event has been scheduled for 2021.
As a reminder, Cameroon has 27 cases of Coronavirus as of March 20th, 2020.