Last weekend, the players of Limbe football club Victoria United (also known as Opopo) failed to turn up for their match against APEJES Academy on the fifth day of the MTN Elite One championship. Nearly a week after this incident, Victoria United has yet to provide an official explanation. Contacted by telephone, the Limbe club's president, Valentine Nkwain (photo, right), refused to answer SBBC's questions. "I have nothing to say,” he told us before hanging up.
It is therefore difficult to confirm or deny rumors that Victoria United has thrown in the towel after four league games. However, according to a source close to Valentine Nkwain, to understand the players’ actions, one has to go back to what happened on October 18, after its defeat by Fovu de Baham (1-2) in Bafoussam. It was the third loss in a row.
According to our source, stung by the catastrophic start to the championship, Valentine Nkwain made it clear to his players that the project supposed to make Opopo a great club had failed across the board. “He even went over the team’s defeat by Stade Renard (third day), complaining that the players were running all over the pitch. Finally, he asked the players to look for other clubs, given that the Mercato is still open," the source said.
No ground for conclusions
Is this enough to conclude that Victoria United is pulling out? Certainly not even if the words hint that the president has given up. Things started well for Opopo in the opening match against Fauve Azur (2-1). According to the source quoted above, players were cheerful but things quickly turned south. Victoria racked up three consecutive losses to Stade Renard de Melong, Fovu de Baham, and the defending champions Coton Sport.
Victoria United's cryptic situation contrasts with the ambitions of Valentine Nkwain, who wanted to elevate his club to the closed circle of the greatest on the continent. Its advance to Elite One at the end of last season was marred by suspicions of favoritism. Critics pointed out the club president’s close relationship with Samuel Eto'o (photo, left), president of the Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot). Some stakeholders even lodged a complaint with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) following audio reports of a telephone conversation between the two men. The CAF's decision is still awaited.
Michel Ange Nga