SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – Cameroon need to improve their football infrastructure if they want to compete with the world’s top teams, coach Hugo Broos said following their Confederations Cup exit.
Despite winning the African Nations Cup in February, Broos added that the five-times continental champions had to stop living on their past success and face reality.
Cameroon were knocked out of the tournament in Russia on Sunday after a 3-1 defeat to Germany left them with one point from three matches, an outcome which Broos said he had been expecting.
The Indomitable Lions are also struggling to qualify for next year’s World Cup, having taken only two points from their first two games in African Group B to leave them four behind leaders Nigeria. Only the winners qualify.
“It was not a surprise for me. I always said after we won the Nations Cup that we are one of the best teams in Africa but there is still a difference between us and modern football,” Broos told reporters after Sunday’s defeat.
“We saw the proof that a lot of work still needs to be done… it is of course a quality issue, but it’s mostly a training issue,” the Belgian said. “There is a lot to be done on that front in Cameroon, we still live on our past successes.”
Broos, who was appointed in February last year after seeing the job advertised on the Cameroon federation’s website, has had to endure administrative problems during his 18 months in charge.
Several top European-based players refused call-ups for the Nations Cup, either because they were angry at past experiences with the team or feared losing their places with their club sides.
In March, the team sat down for a meal at a hotel in Brussels ahead of a friendly against Guinea only to be told they could not eat because the bill had not been paid. They later lost the match 2-1.
Broos noted that the Cameroon squad at the 2003 Confederations Cup had players based with “Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Liverpool” which was “no longer the case”.
“I am not pointing the finger at any player, I’m just pointing to the training issues in Cameroon,” he said.
“There is a lack of pitches, there is a lack of infrastructure in the country which is why it is impossible in to train good footballers for modern football, so this is our main disadvantage.
“If we do qualify for the World Cup next year, we are going to have to start thinking about solving this problem for the future.”
(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by John O’Brien)