Cotonsport of Garoua will not only be representing themselves, but all of Cameroonian football when they start their CAF Confederation Cup semifinal with the first leg on Sunday in Yaoundé against Algeria’s JS Kabylie. If the club from the North Region could pull off a title-winning run in the competition, it would be the first CAFCC trophy to go to a club in the nation. Despite the team’s two losses to JSK earlier in the group stage, an ActuCameroun article cites a Cotonsport supporter as saying that this series of matches will go differently now that there is a different context and higher stakes.
Cameroonian coach Ghislain Chameni states his concern that Cotonsport will not be prepared for the occasion because of the lackluster competition that they face week in and week out in Cameroon’s domestic competition, the Elite One. Chameni compares the situation to top French club Paris Saint-Germain, who regularly make it to the final stages of the UEFA Champions League only to crash out against teams from Europe’s most elite leagues.
Former Cameroon national team, Chelsea and Real Madrid regular Gérémi Njitap came to give the team a motivational talk leading up to the match. The legendary right back/midfielder and current president of the National Union of Cameroonian footballers (SYNAFOC) and of FIFPRO Africa emphasized that the entire nation was behind the players and that Cotonsport was a club model for teams in the country to model themselves after.