CAPETOWN (Reuters) – Cameroon have put their strike over money behind them and are fully focusded on their opening Africa Cup of Nations match on Tuesday, according to coach Clarence Seedorf.
“All teams in the world at some point in their history experience such troubles,” said the former Netherlands international and four-time Champions League winner, “but it will not affect our morale or our preparations.”
Cameroon’s arrival at the tournament in Egypt was delayed by 24 hours when the squad refused to board their plane in Yaounde while they haggled over increased appearance fees and bonus monies.
They eventually boarded after negotiations with government officials and Seedorf suggested on Sunday that the experience might well turn out to be a positive.
“Actually the bonus crisis has reinforced the team spirit and the determination within the squad to perform well. There was some tension but the players have behaved maturely and they’ve decided to be here to fight for Cameroon.
“The players have maintained the same intensity and concentration. The team is ready and they can’t wait to start the first match,” he said.
Cameroon, who won a fifth Cup of Nations title two years ago, meet Guinea Bissau in Group F at Ismailia on Tuesday, followed by matches against Ghana and Benin at the same venue.
“We need to perform and show on the field why we are title favourites too. I think we have the talent and the possibility to do something very important,” said Seedorf.
“The way the team is working at the moment, I’m very happy about that and convinced that we are ready to fight to retain our trophy, knowing that we will face very good teams during the event,” he added.
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ken Ferris)