Many questions on who manages the three CAF Excellence Centres in Mbankomo(Cameroon), Dakar (Senegal) and Addis Ababa(Ethiopia) have been the worry of many Africans on the social media.
The bond of contention has been highlighted after some Cameroonians took to facebook with pictures of a seemingly abandoned CAF Excellence Centre in Mbankomo, in Cameroon, a modern sports training facility.
The post with a caption “The sad reality of the CAF Excellence Centre in Mbankomo, Cameroon”, a near translation from French to English, show images of a fast depreciating football facility with overgrown grass in the walkways and the training grounds.
The images depict a picture of an abandoned structure giving reasons for Cameroonian to ponder who is the manager of the multipurpose sports facility, Is it the government of Cameroon or the African football powerhouse, CAF?
Who Then Manages The CAF Excellence Centre In Mbankomo?
The three existing sports facilities, one in Senegal, Ethiopia and Cameroon are constructed and supposedly managed by the Confederation of African football, CAF.
The structures, an initiative of the former President of CAF, Cameroonian born Issa Hayatou are constructed, equipped and managed by the continental football body, CAF.
According to the regulating text, CAF can sell the facilities to the host countries after auditing to know the value and possible reasons why it should be sold.
As at now, two out of the three facilities, that is, Dakar and Addis Ababa whose structures are completed and partially equipped have been managed by their governments.
In the case of Cameroon, the Roland Berger Audit Company, was commissioned in 2017 to carry out the infrastructural audit of Cameroon ahead of the AFCON 2019, with Mbankomo sports facility included.
Unfortunately, the struggle by Cameroon to buy the structure and ensure the management was short lift due to the postponement of the AFCON.
In another dimension, if CAF no longer manages, then Cameroon government as a case in point can take over the management.
Knowing The CAF Excellence Centre In Mbankomo
During the Executive Committee meeting in South Africa in April 2003, CAF decided to contribute more to the development of football on the continent through the construction of sports facilities.
In its first phase achievements, four centres were created in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Senegal and in Tunisia, but the Tunisian government refused to give in her support.
In Cameroon, the Government offered the Mbankomo field, some 24 kms from the town of Yaoundé.
Estimated at a sum of FCFA 6 billion, the football centre was built over five of the twenty-four hectares of land.
The architectural masterpiece includes a large central building, which has 40 luxury rooms, a restaurant, a conference room and several offices. Two playgrounds for training.
Other facilities include a multi playground for volleyball, basketball and handball, a tennis field, 35 double rooms, an Olympic pool amongst many others.
According to Issa Hayatou, the centres were to help cut the cost of camping African players abroad and assist in the growth of local football.
The centre has been operational since 2010, and plays host to training sessions, FECAFOOT seminars and many other football related activities.
Though pictures posted on the social media show an abandoned structure, the blame is not on Cameroon. Management and maintenance of the facility is supposed to be carried out by CAF.