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Cameroon’s amputee football team set to miss first international debut

The Cameroonian amputee football team hopes to get to Angola for their first international competition. Photo by Giovanni Wanneh, Kick442.com, used with permission.

The National Amputee Football team of Cameroon may miss out on their very first international tournament in Angola over lack of funding.

Footballers with disabilities play on the National Amputee team Football team and the World Amputee Football Federation backs them as a global body for the sport. Seven players compete on each side – a goalkeeper and six outfield players, unlike non-amputee teams of 11 players each.

The fifth Cup of African Nations for Amputee Football, CANAF, will feature hosts Angola, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo and Cameroon, but Cameroonians fear they may not see out the event:

“We have no source to finance our flights and may not go to represent the country,” Fon Dieudonné, a midfielder and an executive of the Cameroonian team told local media on Monday, September 23.

The Cameroon amputee team was only formed in March last year and needs international participation to get recognized by the World Amputee Football Federation. However, their road to the Angola finals has been daunting.

“The training is going well but in very difficult conditions; we don’t have a stadium. We have no equipment – just three balls,” defender François Dim Baring told public media CRTV on September 13.

Making it to Angola is about more than just a game. It's about expanding the visibility and rights of people with disabilities. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the “leave no one behind” agenda created global momentum to ensure that people with disabilities can participate in all aspects of life without discrimination.

Twitter user Njobati Sylvie celebrates Cameroon's team for this reason:

Despite Angola winning the 2018 Amputee World Cup in Mexico, many African countries struggle to make available resources for the disability sport. Nigeria’s amputee team engaged in crowdfunding last year in order to participate in the World Cup, having sat out the event in 2010, 2012 and 2014.

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