Cameroon manager Clarence Seedorf
Tuesday Jun 25, 2019. 09:29
Cameroon coach Clarence Seedorf insists the bonus row surrounding the team has made them stronger ahead of their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations opener.
The reigning AFCON champions will open the defence of their title with a Group F clash against Guinea-Bissau in Ismailia tonight.
However, they almost skipped the tournament altogether after the players refused to board their plane to Egypt from Yaounde last week, citing unpaid bonuses from the Cameroon Football Association as the reason for their near mutiny.
There were fears the row would affect Cameroon’s chances at the tournament, but Seedorf believes it has actually done the opposite.
“We are serene and we know why we’re here. At no moment has the team spirit changed,” said the Dutch coach.
“We have a joyful group, with players who know what appearing in such an event represents.
“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.
“Bonus rows are not something particular to Cameroon or Africa, I’ve seen similar events across the world but we don’t want to let this distort our ambition.
“The players have maintained the same intensity and concentration. The team is ready and they can’t wait to start the first match.”