Cameroon may have been eliminated from the FIFA World Cup but that hasn’t doused fans’ enthusiasm for the tournament in Brazil. Some Cameroonian fans have transferred their allegiance to Germany.
Cameroonians listen attentively when the German national anthem is struck up before kick-off in Brazil. Some even sing the words. Germany’s superlative 7-1 defeat of Brazil was seen as yet another opportunity for Cameroon soccer fans to celebrate what some see as their second national team.
Germany’s winning streak in the FIFA World Cup spells good business in the capital Yaounde. Drinks vendor Mankaa Paulin said they buy in a lot of beer to sell to fans when Germany is playing. “We make a lot of money ,” she said.
Cameroonians like to gamble and are still betting feverishly on the tournament, even though the Indomitable Lions have been knocked out of the competition.
Bookmaker Akam Jean said they were making “enough money.” Otherwise “we would have shut our doors after Cameroon’s elimination,” he said.
54-year-old Germany supporter Ambe Charles told DW in Yaounde he is confident that Joachim Löw’s team will lift the trophy.
“They are more realistic in their play style. They have good players, good attackers, good defenders, in fact it is a complete team,” he said.
Confidence in the German team
23-year-old Clifford Ndi also speaks glowingly of the German team. “Certainly Germany will win because they are more experienced. They are more realistic. When you see them play you understand that it is a team that has a purpose, that has a vision. They don’t play childish football. When you see their playmaker like Ozil, he is somebody who can change the game at any time,” he said.
Cameroonian love of the German game has a long history. Sports analyst Mimbang Serge recalls that Germany helped the Indomitable Lions to make their mark in world soccer. In the late 1950s and early 1960s some of Cameroon’s coaches were trained in Germany.
“Some Cameroonian players too have played in the German Bundesliga, recently we have seen players like Joel Martip and Eric Masim Chuppo-Mouting, who are good stars,” he said.
Serge also mentioned the German coaches in Cameroon who included “popular names like Otto Pfister, Winfred Schäfer and presently Volker Finke.”
66-year-old Finke masterminded Cameroon’s 2014 campaign which ended in a 4-1 drubbing by Brazil. His contract has a year to run.
According to Serge “Cameroonians will always have a soft spot for Germany.”