World Cup 2022: Cameroon, for the image and for the president

Will he be in the locker room at the Al-Janoub stadium just before kick-off, motivating his troops with one of those fiery speeches he has made a specialty of in recent months? Or will he suddenly be discreet, contrary to his habits, he the former star player and new president of the Cameroonian Football Federation (Fecafoot) Samuel Eto’o, at a time when his Lions indomitable must roar from the decisive start of their World Cup against Switzerland, Thursday, November 24?

The question is not neutral for the national team of Cameroon, which, in Qatar, will evolve more than ever under the gaze and the pressure of the former star striker of FC Barcelona and Inter Milan, always prowling in the “den”, the nickname of the base of the Lions wherever they are. The management of the team makes no secret of this. Sent to a press conference on Monday, November 21 in place of coach Rigobert Song, his deputy Sébastien Migné defined the roadmap as follows: “Trying to give the best image possible (…) hoping to satisfy the demands of our president. »

“Bring the trophy home”

And they are high, these requirements. Nothing less than “bring the trophy home”, hammers Samuel Eto’o on all tones. Since his arrival at the head of Fecafoot in December 2021, the leader has only one idea in mind: to remake Cameroon a leading nation in world football, and to put an end to these regular poor performances where Lions with spoiled teeth bite into the void, drooling on their past glory.

Since its exciting historic quarter-final in 1990, Cameroon has certainly celebrated its ninth participation in the World Cup in Qatar, a record for a country on the African continent, but its last outings in 2010 and 2014 (the team was absent in 2018) leave a taste bitterness of chained defeats (six in total). These disillusions, Samuel Eto’o knows them for having lived them, like that of 2002 (elimination in the first round after a victory and a draw), even more acute for him because, “with an incredible team then, we were not convinced enough that we could win”, he often repeats. Hence the objective he sets today, even if it means overdoing it.

Ways of a blaster

It’s in his nature anyway. He arrived at the head of Fecafoot with the manners of a blaster. Outside the old executives, make way for new men. His. Samuel Eto’o changed all the coaches of the youth selections, and of course chose the leader of the national team, Cameroonian and not foreign as usual: the former most capped player of the Lions (137 caps ) Rigobert Song, one of his faithful supporters during the conquest of federal power.

He then applied himself to finding funds to relaunch the national championship, bloodless, prior to the essential increase in the level of local players. He focused on reviving his institution, which was in bad financial shape. “With me, no eight-month salary arrears, no more bonus problems,” he boasted at the beginning of November in an interview of more than two hours with the Cameroonian private channel Canal 2 International.

The coach in the hot seat

The Eto’o revolution? She doesn’t please everyone. His decision in August 2022 to break a contract running until the end of 2023 with the equipment manufacturer Le Coq sportif to prefer the American company One All Sports, an unknown brand in football and linked to motor racing, has raised many questions. His regular outings in the Lions locker room, always filmed by federal cameras, question Rigobert Song’s freedom in his choices.

On this chapter, the non-selection of Michael Ngadeu, decisive passer on the qualifying goal at the World Cup in Algeria in March 2022 (2-1), continues to cause ink to flow. The player had criticized certain talkative interventions by Samuel Eto’o. His place in the team had however been guaranteed by Rigobert Song.

The coach himself is also in the hot seat, as the last matches of the Lions seem worrying. In order, two defeats against Uzbekistan and South Korea, and two draws against Jamaica and Panama. In a raised group including Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia, Cameroon will have to surpass themselves to access the rest of the competition. “We are a united group and we have a lot of desire”, assures striker Éric Choupo-Moting. Certainly. The president is now waiting for something concrete.



Vincent Merling, the guardian president of the Rochelle temple

Apologize for being there? He’s not quite the type of guy. But on the eve of vibrating behind his Stade Rochelais on Saturday, May 22, in the final of the European Cup against the Stade Toulouse, there is at Vincent Merling the modesty of the modest. The one that prevents the president of the Atlantic club from fully realizing what is happening: yes, his team is indeed playing for the continental trophy and could therefore write a first line on his record by offering himself a major reward.

→ READ. The puzzle of multi-sport cities

Even this possibility of victory, Vincent Merling still struggles to believe it. Yet he does everything for, and for a long time, the valiant leader. Next June, he will celebrate his thirtieth birthday at the helm of the Stade Rochelais. No other oval president can tell such a story. A story which, for a long time, was a matter of well-tempered ambition.

Grow without rushing anything

And for good reason. When he took over the reins in 1991, the former third row Vincent Merling, then 41, was initially faced with difficulty. “The financial situation was bad, we had to save the club, he recalls. With other former players and friends, we embarked on the adventure, but without thinking about the very long term. “ Vincent Merling also finds himself bombarded as president because he is a company director, at the head of the Merling cafes. VSgave a slightly futuristic dimension, he jokes. We were not many at the time. “

It is not, however, a question of anticipating the call for professionalism which will prevail from the middle of the decade. “We did not have an identity very favorable to professionalism, underlines the president. When I wanted to create a club of partner companies, the candidates were not legion. We had to adapt, at our own pace and staying true to our values. “ Solidarity, sharing, sense of the collective, the club is built on these foundations and without haste. It titillates the elite at the turn of the century, but also descends sharply in the second division, to the point that the 2000s parade with a Stade Rochelais which seems in its place a tone below, second knife forever.

The rebound is a man’s business. “I am an emotional”, summarizes Vincent Merling. And the current passes from 2008 with the arrival of Pierre Venayre, a former player injured too early, loaded with diplomas and converted to manager. It was he who worked out the new development strategy, like a five-year plan, when Stade Rochelais climbed to Top 14, but was returned to ProD2 the following year. The project is called “Grandir ensemble” and runs until 2015. “I actually lived through more complicated seasons that made the institution suffer than great joys, comments Vincent Merling. To make a great team, you have to structure. It has become our priority: to ensure the sustainability of the club, the basis of everything. “

A real sense of belonging

The elevator brings the Yellow and Black back into the elite for the 2014-2015 season, and a second plan – called “Writing our history” – drives home the point. The Rochelais Stadium is now comfortable in its stadium renovated in 2017, taking advantage of its performance center inaugurated in 2018. It has more than 600 local partners. It enjoys a more than loyal audience, always sold out (13,000 subscribers out of a capacity of 16,000 seats). The budget (23 million euros this year) and the results follow (first place in the regular season in 2017, the podium this year with three days remaining).

→ ANALYSIS. Sport and health: these champions who last longer and longer

Now playing in the big leagues, is the club in danger of losing its soul? “I don’t think so, and the pandemic has shown it on the side of our partners and our subscribers. Solidarity is not an empty word here. There is a real notion of belonging in everyone. “ Which President Merling particularly cherishes. At the start of the year, the link could have loosened a bit with his candidacy for the presidency of the National Rugby League, pushed by his peers and assumed “Out of a sense of duty”. The former president of the Toulouse Stadium, René Bouscatel, was finally preferred to him, and Vincent Merling is hardly moved by it. “Suddenly, I stay 100% in La Rochelle. And I can live this final to the full. The worst thing for me is not being able to share it with the public because of health constraints. It’s heartbreaking. “ But now he can believe it: this kind of occasion, there will be others.


Toulouse for the pass of five

With a record still blank and a first in the final of the major continental competition, La Rochelle is obviously a Thumbs up against the Toulouse ogre. The Rouge et Noir will have their 7the European final, and will aim for a 5e crowned after those of 1996, 2003, 2005 and 2010. For their strategist Ugo Mola, it is the opportunity to become the first French to win the title as coach and as player (in 1996).


Top Stories

Foreign newspapers write about Vietnam to elect new leaders

Many foreign news agencies reported that Vietnam’s National Assembly passed a resolution to elect the President, Chairman of the National Assembly and the Prime Minister, in a “new leadership transition”.

Foreign news agencies such as Reuters, AFP, Bloomberg, Nikkei, Xinhua, and Anadolu today simultaneously reported that Vietnam’s National Assembly elected Nguyen Xuan Phuc as President and Pham Minh Chinh as Prime Minister. AFP said that Vietnam “is in the process of a leadership transition that takes place twice in a decade, in which Nguyen Phu Trong, 76, is re-elected General Secretary, the most important position, in January” .

The firm Bloomberg US news reported this morning, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, 66, was elected president of the country, becoming one of the highest leaders of the country.

During the tenure of Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Vietnam’s economy grew rapidly, reaching 7.08% in 2018, and foreign investment reached the highest level of about 30 billion USD, up 44%, in 2017. Vietnam Men are also recognized globally for their success in preventing the Covid-19 pandemic.

New State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc takes the oath. Video: VTV.

“Mr. Phuc has done very well as prime minister for the past five years,” Bloomberg quoted Alexander Vuving, a Southeast Asia expert at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Security Research Center in Hawaii, said.

“The person behind Vietnam’s success in dealing with the Covid-19 epidemic, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, was officially sworn in as President in Hanoi today”, AFP news agency written by France. “Mr. Phuc has been the Prime Minister of Vietnam for the past 5 years, a period of great economic development and his reaction to Covid-19 has won many praise at home and abroad”.

The French news agency said that after the secret vote, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc “reached the maximum number of votes” among nearly 500 members of the National Assembly. The National Assembly said it was “the first time a prime minister has been nominated for the presidency”.

“He deserves this,” AFP quoted Nguyen Khac Giang, a Vietnamese political expert from Victoria Wellington University, New Zealand, said, adding that Mr. Phuc’s experience in “handling the relationship well. Vietnam’s relations with the US under the Donald Trump administration “will help him assume his foreign affairs as President.

Xinhua News Agency China’s National Assembly reported that Vietnam’s National Assembly elected Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc as the President with 97.5% support rate at the 11th session of the 14th National Assembly that is taking place.

“In his oath, State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc takes an oath of absolute loyalty to his fatherland, the people and the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, striving to do a good job of the State, the Party and the people. entrusted, “Xinhua said.

News agency Anadolu Turkey also praised under the leadership of Mr. Phuc as prime minister, the country’s GDP increased by 1.4 times compared to 2015. “In terms of global competitiveness index, Vietnam increased by 10 ranked 67th out of 141 countries, according to the World Economic Forum, “the company wrote.

The firm Nikkei also assessed Mr. Phuc as “a person who has been instrumental in maintaining a stable economy despite the epidemic” when he was prime minister. “As president, Mr. Phuc will be the country’s top diplomat,” said the Japanese news agency.

The firm Reuters News of the National Assembly of Vietnam this afternoon elected Pham Minh Chinh, 62, as the prime minister with 96.25% of the vote. Mr. Chinh, from Thanh Hoa, is “the first prime minister who has never assumed the role of deputy prime minister since Vietnam started the Doi Moi reform”.

British news agency points on the work history of Mr. Chinh, is a doctor of law, First Secretary at the Vietnamese Embassy in Romania in 1989, Deputy Minister of Public Security in 2010 and became Head of the Central Organizing Committee in the year. 2016. He is also a member of the Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption headed by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

The new Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh takes the oath

The new Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh takes the oath. Video: VTV.

Peter Mumford, head of political risk consulting firm Eurasia Group based in New York, told Bloomberg That the new prime minister will need to undertake economic reforms that require new trade deals and address bottlenecks in the manufacturing sector while improving infrastructure, including securing energy. trust.

The government will also deal with pollution that is growing more worrisome. Key priorities also include working with the administration of US President Joe Biden to address the tensions surrounding trade and currency.

“The immediate priorities of Mr. Chinh are to defeat the Covid-19 pandemic and start economic recovery,” Nikkei quoted Professor Carl Thayer of the University of New South Wales as saying.

“Analysts believe that Mr. Chinh’s becoming Prime Minister is in line with the fact that Hanoi will continue to promote anti-corruption, a key initiative of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong over the past two terms,” ​​Nikkei said.

The Japanese newspaper quoted Ngo Vinh Long, a professor of Asian history at the University of Maine, USA, as saying that “Vietnam wants to maintain political and social stability to maintain its annual economic growth rate. 6% in the near future “.

Bloomberg, Xinhua and Nikkei last week also reported that Mr. Vuong Dinh Hue, 64 years old, former Minister of Finance, former Deputy Prime Minister, was elected Chairman of the National Assembly with a 98.54% approval rate.

Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue is sworn in on March 31.  Photo: Giang Huy.

Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue is sworn in on March 31. Image: Giang Huy.

Bloomberg reports that Mr. Vuong Dinh Hue is from Nghe An, as Deputy Prime Minister from April 2016 to June 2020. He also served as Head of Central Economic Committee and State Auditor. He holds a PhD in economics from Bratislava University of Economics, Slovakia.

“This is a great honor and also a very heavy responsibility for me”, the newspaper quoted Mr. Hue as saying after taking his oath in the National Assembly.

PhnomPenh Post Cambodia has reported that Mr. Hue, Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee since February 2020, has been the 12th President of the National Assembly since Vietnam held the first general election in 1946. “Right hand raised, left hand raised. Setting up the Vietnamese Constitution, Mr. Hue vowed absolute loyalty to the fatherland, the people and the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam “, this paper said.

Huyen Le



Football: searches and arrest of the former president of FC Barcelona

Police raided Monday 1er March the headquarters FC Barcelona and arrested ex-president Josep Maria Bartomeu as well as three former or current leaders of the club in connection with the investigation into the “Barçagate”, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The case erupted a year ago after an investigation by Spanish radio Cadena Ser into an alleged campaign of slander against Barça figures (such as star Lionel Messi or defender Gerard Pique) on social networks, orchestrated by a company working for the club.

A smear campaign

The press then stressed that the aim of this campaign was to improve the image of Josep Maria Bartomeu, the people targeted being all critical of the president who resigned on October 27.

The radio had shown that the club had paid one million euros in six separate invoices to this company, I3 Ventures, with whom Barca have since cut ties. That is an amount six times higher than market prices, according to the press. The club had categorically denied any smear campaign.

“Have they been given the task of monitoring social networks? The answer is yes. Have they been tasked with discrediting people or institutions on social networks? The answer is no. And we will prosecute all those who accuse us of this ”, then defended Bartomeu.

Resignation of the entire management committee

Criticized by a large fringe of supporters, players and members of the club, Josep Maria Bartomeu ended up resigning at the end of October 2020, after a long crisis, with his entire management committee.

Remained six and a half years at the head of Barça, he had come close to losing the living legend Lionel Messi. At the end of August, the latter had announced his wish to terminate his contract “Unilaterally”, disappointed by the results of his team and even more by the decisions of its leaders who in particular chose to separate from his great friend Luis Suarez.

These searches and arrests come six days before the elections for the presidency of the club scheduled for Sunday, where the socios (supporters-shareholders) will be called upon to choose between Joan Laporta, Toni Freixa and Victor Font to succeed Bartomeu.



A new president and a new coach for OM

Olympique de Marseille is opening a new chapter in its tumultuous history. Friday February 26, Frank McCourt, the American owner of the Marseille club since 2016, announced in a press release the ouster of President Jacques-Henri Eyraud, in favor of sports director Pablo Longoria, and the appointment of Argentine coach Jorge Sampaoli.

Sports crisis

Stuck in a sporting crisis and in a climate of deep mistrust with its supporters, the Marseille club upsets its organization chart. In a position that has become untenable in the face of popular protest, Jacques-Henri Eyraud, who joins the supervisory board, has been replaced by Pablo Longoria, only 34 years old, who was since August 2020, the discreet sports director of OM. A lightning rise for the one who worked in particular for Juventus (Italy) and FC Valencia (Spain).

The Marseille club also welcomes a new coach with the appointment of the Argentinian Jorge Sampaoli, 60, who is committed until June 2023. The latter, known for his impulsive and passionate nature, notably led the national selections of the Chile and Argentina but also Sevilla FC and more recently the Brazilian clubs of Santos and Atlético Mineiro.


He succeeds the Portuguese André Villas-Boas and Nasser Larguet who acted as interim. ” I’ve been told all my life that OM is a passion, said Jorge Sampaoli. (…) Marseille is a people’s club and I feel myself in this heat. (…) In the world, there are quiet places and intense places. These are the ones I want and I accepted without hesitation. “

These two strong decisions mark an energetic takeover of the American owner of OM. The latter has also assured that he is committed “Personally” to ensure that this new chapter “Be a real success”. Proof of his new investment, Franck McCourt announces that he will go to Marseille in the week to meet the supporters. “He will also meet business leaders, elected officials and representatives of public authorities, accompanied by members of the new club management team,” the club also announces.

“I am arriving in Marseille, and I am eager to share my vision for the future directly with supporters, especially with regard to development and investment projects for the next generations, explains the American billionaire who seems to be lasting despite the rumors of the club’s sale. In 2016, we launched an ambitious project to bring this club back to the top of French and European football and this commitment is still intact.



Spectators at the Tokyo Olympics? The IOC President believes in it

The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, declared on Monday November 16 “ very confident As to the attendance of spectators at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, scheduled for next summer after being postponed for a year due to the coronavirus.

→ CONTEXT. Tokyo Olympics officially postponed to summer 2021

The upsurge in infections across the world and the renewal of containment measures in some countries have revived doubts about the possibility of organizing the Games if the pandemic is not brought under control in the first half of 2021.

” Toolbox “

After an interview in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Thomas Bach praised the measures to combat the coronavirus currently being prepared by the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee and the Japanese government.

“We are in the process of putting together a huge toolbox in which we will put all the measures we can imagine”, said the IOC boss. Next year, “We will be able to take (the) good tools out of this box and use them to guarantee a safe environment for all participants in the Games”, he added. “It makes us very, very confident that we will be able to have spectators in the Olympic stadiums next year. “

Thomas Bach, who is on a two-day visit to Tokyo, also pledged that the IOC “Make great efforts” to ensure that as many participants and spectators as possible are vaccinated before they arrive in Japan, if a vaccine is available by July 2021

Decisions next spring

According to polls, a majority of Japanese believe that the Games should still be postponed or simply canceled. And more than 60% of domestic sponsors have yet to pledge to extend their contracts for another year, local media reported this weekend.

Decisions on the number of spectators at the Olympics next year or on the rules for the public will be taken in the spring, said on October 12 Toshiro Muto, general manager of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee. He specified that the rules quarantine could be lifted for foreign spectators. The Japanese Prime Minister wanted to be optimistic Monday, reaffirming that the next Games would serve as ” proof that humanity has conquered the virus “.