The Shameful End of the Heirs of the Indomitable Lion’s Label
By L. Nguissi
The long journey began back in 1972, after the CAF African Cup was played in Yaoundé. Cameroon’s government decided to put their country’s team on the map in the passionate and popular world of football.
Year after year, Cameroon’s National Football Program’s vision to compete and win became a goal… with the goal becoming a reality, and the reality becoming a habit. From 1978 to 1990, Cameroon’s Indomitable Lion’s yielded the sweet fruits of its labor, achieving a spot in the major international finals after only two years due to the fierce competitive spirit built by Roger Milla’s legacy. It was now up to the next generation to take the team to the next level.
Between 1990 and 2003, the football heirs forged their struggle for succession. And despite a roller coaster of challenges, they ferociously defended their legacy, with the Indomitable Lion’s winning the gold medal in the 2000 Olympics and making it all the way to the finals at the 2003 World Confederation Cup.
From 2003 onwards, the children who grew up watching the history-making players in Milla’s generation were ready to take over. Fueled by their glorious past, the Indomitable Lions’ team label was on a steady incline. But recent history has shown that reality took another path. It was the beginning of an end. While achieving individual professional successes and well-deserved financial wealth far beyond those of generations past, both current government officials and players have destroyed the legacy of their fathers. This generation of football players, administrators, and leaders are squarely to blame for tarnishing their teams celebrated legacy; not just due to their lack of talent and inability to build the collective intelligence that makes a football team successful, but because of their consistent lack of discipline, poor sportsmanship, greed, and corruption.
The good news is that this generation is about to reach its end, and new seeds of hope can be planted for a new group of players and leaders. If we pay close attention and follow the lessons learned from the great success that came long before, we can once again shoot for the stars and produce a new team of players who will once again shine in the world of athletes.