COMMITMENT:Ex-star made players and officials sign a creed
RIGOBERT Song has begun his job as Cameroon’s team manager by introducing a creed for both players and officials.
The former captain was appointed on 6 January, with the intention of bringing stability to the national team.
In his first outing in Guinea-Bissau, he convinced coach Denis Lavagne and his squad to adhere to an 11-point plan, which starts by stating that ‘the Cameroon national team is sacred’.
All players and officials signed the document on Wednesday in Guinea-Bissau.
Cameroon won the first leg of their first round 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier later that day, winning 1-0 thanks to a late strike from Eric Choupo-Moting.
The intention of the two-time Nations Cup champion is that every new player in the team will sign up to a creed which stresses, among others, the need for communication, humility and loyalty.
Cameroon’s international team has been rocked in recent years, with the Indomitable Lions conspicuous by their absence from this year’s African Cup of Nations after their failure to qualify.
Late last year, a friendly against Algeria had to be called off at short notice after the players conducted a strike over money issues - an incident which led to an eight-month ban for captain Samuel Eto’o.
These issues have combined to leave Cameroon in 66th place in the Fifa rating system, which is the Indomitable Lions’ worst ranking ever.
As he looks to address this slump, Song’s 11-point mission statement reads as follows:
-The Cameroon national team is sacred, serving it is my only goal
-The green-red-yellow is sacred, I shall wear it in every stadium, honour and defend it
-Playing for my country is an honour, with loyalty, fidelity and courage I shall represent it
-Each match and each selection is goodness shared with my people, my public and mates
-With my team-mates I shall be strong, with friendship and solidarity my watchword
-Respect for elders is a principle, from them I inherit this jersey, illustrious they handed it to me and glorious I will pass it on
-I shall communicate with my coaches, comrades and officials, dialogue shall remain my strength
-No matter the time and place, player or substitute I shall serve with enthusiasm and professionalism
-I shall give my best in the field, I shall be humble and hold my head high
-From North to South, East to West, I shall be a model for the youths of Cameroon and Africa
-Indomitable I am, indomitable I shall remain
“This sermon is a call and bond to the values that have moulded multiple generations of Indomitable Lions, who prompted the hoisting of the national flag and made the country a big football nation,” says Song of his document.
He added that it is also “a reminder of how lucky [players] are to wear the Lions jersey and a responsibility to sustain the legend of the Indomitable Lions”.
During his playing career, Song won over 100 caps for the Indomitable Lions, winning the Nations Cup in 2000 and 2002 while contesting four World Cups.
Having made his debut in 1993, the former Liverpool and Galatasaray defender captained the side for 10 years until Eto’o took on the role in late 2009 - a move which spread disharmony within the camp.
Song retired from international football in 2010, a year when he travelled to a record eighth Cup of Nations and played at the first World Cup to be staged in Africa.