Cameroon under investigation after Round of 16 match with England; England progress to the Quarterfinals

26 Jun

I have to admit. This is a rough report to write. There’s the match and then there’s what went on in the match, at half time, after the match and now the aftermath. This is a developing story so keep a look out. Teri and I both have some thoughts but I’ll start with the actual report first and then we’ll get into it.

It was clear right from the word go that this was going to be a physical match. Feudijo fouled Bronze and Leuko fouled Parris within the first five minutes of the game. The foul on Parris was particularly rough with an elbow to the face.

In the 12th minute, White tried to complete a pass to Duggan but it was intercepted by Ejangue who passed it back to her keeper and Ngo Ndom was penalized for a back pass rookie mistake. England was awarded a free kick and it was pretty awkward for Cameroon to be on the line. It was also here when Duggan accused Ejangue of spitting on her. Some commentary suggested it was accidental due to shouting but it was an already heated situation. Houghton took the free kick and scored.

Scott and Leuko and Onguenue had some pretty consistent battles throughout the midfield. Enganamouit had a few good opportunities as well but she was not able to convert them.

It was the second goal in stoppage time that made it very clear that this match was beginning to get out of control. Bronze passed the ball to White who put it in the bottom corner. The offside flag went up but VAR overruled it and replays showed that White was not offsides. Cameroon was furious and refused to restart the game. The referee spent a good deal of time discussing the situation with the captain but it took quite a while for the match to get moving again.

Right after the second half began, Nchout scored but VAR ruled that it was offsides and Cameroon were inconsolable. Coach Djeumfa embraced Nchout after she was in tears along the sideline. The replay showed the offsides call was very tight and this did not help Cameroon’s concerns for justice and they felt they were not being treated fairly.

Takounda came on in the 53rd minute and immediately had an impact. She latched onto a terrible back pass from Greenwood and forced Bardsley to make a big save. A few minutes later she had another opportunity but she was called offsides. However, Greenwood was able to recover in the 58th minute when she was able to convert on a set piece from Duggan and scored.

Scott, Kirby and Bronze made some significant runs up the pitch throughout the second half but only Taylor, who came on in the 64th minute, had any chances that seemed at all dangerous.

Cameroon kept battling on and Onguene had a good moment in the 85th minute. However, Takounda who had shown some promising runs earlier in the half, came in for an atrocious tackle on Houghton. Takounda was shown a yellow but she was lucky because it very well could have been a red card.

It was a lousy way to end the match and BBC reported today that FIFA opened disciplinary proceedings against Cameroon for “fair play breaches”. Meanwhile, Cameroon’s coach Alain Djeumfa called the game a “miscarriage of justice.”

Teri and I spoke not long after the game and I asked for her insights on Cameroon since she was following them in Group A.
She had some very interesting things to say. She said,

Cameroon have so much energy and power in their football. It can be intense to watch, which I think is great when so many teams *cough* England *cough* are the very definition of boring. Their ability to exploit defensive weaknesses and create is up there with the best. They did take Netherlands to task in the group stage, not an easy feat.

There were only glimpses of all that power during this match. When you’re a team that thrives on emotion and then have that taken away and nullified it is brutal. Even if the taking away was done by the Letter of the Law. You become unsettled, unable to catch your breath, and your actions and thoughts take on more complex emotional nuances. This is called a human response.

I cannot and will not lay blame on Cameroon. Or guilt or shame or condemnation. They played their game. Is spitting acceptable? No. Does it happen? Yes. Are deliberate fouls acceptable? No. Do they happen? Hell yes. Does any of this lessen the work Cameroon are putting into their football? Into developing the next generation? No.

I’m not so sure though that it has to be an either/or situation. I do think they should be held accountable for spitting and dangerous fouls. I think the referee did a disservice by not being able to control the situation and giving yellows for the foul on Parris in the early minutes of the match and for the foul on Houghton, instead of taking a firm hand. If the foul on Parris was not a red, it is hard to see how the one on Houghton wasn’t. However, I do agree with Teri’s last statement. The frustration was real and the work they are doing to bring the game to a new level is also true.
However, then Teri said this and I’m not sure I can argue with her here.

If England were in the same aggrieved situation and responded in the same way, would they be vilified? No. Sure, there would be opinion pieces in the contrary but all the excuses and bulls**t in the world would be in their favour by the same people who were blasting Cameroon after the match.

Though I will also note this other tweet as well:

She also says:

I understand the England players questioning the referee for not wondering where the discipline was as they kept being banged up. The referee was definitely ricked back on her heels. Houghton and co. felt personally aggrieved and wanted personal satisfaction. I get it. I do.

This does not preclude me from also acknowledging Cameroon was an entire team wanting the same. An ENTIRE DAMN TEAM.

But this is just another way privilege works. If you’re moneyed and have all the attended accoutrements it matters not the arena within which you conduct your business. I before We, with rare exceptions. And England is one of the most privileged and least “woke” teams in this whole tournament and in world football.

Oh, and there is no topic, no event, no moment that I require Phil “the creep” Neville to weigh in with thoughts on what is becoming or not of a woman or football. The colonial twits who jumped to his pump of sexist and racist comments can f**k right off too. When he reached over and put his hand on Alain Djeumfa’s shoulder to “calm him down” after the studs tackle on Steph Houghton I wanted to jump through the screen and throttle him. That was a pure privileged male power move.

And on that creepy note, I completely agree. Yuck.

An other thing to mention – less importantly, I understand — is that yes, England scored three goals but it was not a good performance for them and honestly, the only thing people are going to remember is the VAR and the protests and the conversation is going to be lost in “bad behavior” and not the actual level of play. I don’t think England will learn any lessons from this match because they will be focused on everything else. I do think Cameroon had every reason to be upset. I also think England had reason to be upset. And I know that justice and FIFA rarely go together. I am just very sad because nothing good will come from any of this.

England go ahead to the Quarterfinals and will meet Norway on Thursday. I will be paying attention to what happens for Cameroon and I hope you do too.

Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes, France
Attendance: 20,148
Referees: Qin Liang (CHN), Fang Yan (CHN), Hong Rym Nyo (PRK), Ri Huang Ok (PRK)
ENG: Bardsley, Bronze, Houghton (captain), Bright, Greenwood, Walsh, Kirby, Scott (Staniforth 78’), Parris (Williamson, 84’), White (Taylor, 64’), Duggan
CAM: Ngo Ndom, Leuko, Ejangue (Sonkeng,64’) , Johnson, Awona, Nchout, Abam (Abena, 68’) , Feudjio, Yango, Aboudi Onguene (Captain), Enganamouit (Takounda, 53’).

– ForzaSusan

One Response to “Cameroon under investigation after Round of 16 match with England; England progress to the Quarterfinals”

  1. hopechaser June 26, 2019 at 11:21 pm #

    England are booooorrrrrriiiinnnnnggggg.

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