Did you Know?
During the 1997–98 season, whilst he was playing at Levante, Thomas N’Kono learnt of his selectability by Cameroon due to his birth. He was invited to join the squad that played in the 1998 World Cup and rose to the challenge. Lauren earned his first full international cap for Cameroon in May 1998 against Luxembourg. Unfortunately, his debut in the tournament as a substitute was blighted by one of the fastest sending offs in the history of the World Cup, when in his first challenge for the ball he was shown a red card, thus ending his World Cup campaign. Better times were ahead though, playing in the Cameroon team that won the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations. He also played in the gold winning team at the 2000 Olympics, ironically against Spain, who could have selected him were it not for his choice of Cameroon. This success was repeated when the team won the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations; Cameroon beat Senegal on penalties after a 0–0 draw. Lauren scored in the penalty shootout. He also played in the 2002 World Cup group stages, featuring in all three of Cameroon’s group matches, but his side failed to qualify for the knockout stage. He retired from international football very prematurely in 2002, despite playing regularly in Premier league for 6 more years having won 25 caps for his country.
CAMEROON NATIONAL TEAM
Africa Cup of Nations 2004
Cameroon vs Nigeria
Match Issued Kit
Did you Know?
This Cameroon’s kit is a match issued kit released by Puma for the “Africa Cup of Nations 2004” and it represents one of the most controversial uniforms of football history and for the “indomitable” team (Cameroon) it was just one of the many of its history that took the “Fédération Camerounaise de Football” in to big troubles with FIFA. Everything started in 2002. Cameroon was heading into the African Cup of Nations in Mali as one of the favourites. Cameroon went on to win their fourth “African Cup of Nations” wearing a sleeveless shirt. But FIFA, not traditionally a happy-go-lucky, throw caution to the wind organization, weren’t impressed. FIFA banned the kit, with spokesman Keith Cooper saying: “They’re not shirts, they’re vests. So Cameroon headed to the 2002 World Cup with black sleeves under their ‘vests’ to keep FIFA happy. That should have been where the story ended. But two years after the vest debacle, Cameroon’s squad headed to defend their African Cup of Nations title in Tunisia wearing a onesie with shirt and shorts sewn together and with red under layers representing lion’s scratches. But again the FIFA President Sepp Blatter was incensed. He whined: “It goes against the laws of the game. The rules are very clear, there is one shirt, one shorts and one socks. They cannot do it. You cannot play a game against the laws of the game. We are the guardians of the laws of the game – the laws are universal.” The mere fact that FIFA were made to dust off and enforce their ‘all shirts and shorts must be separate items of clothing’ rule for the first time ever with this Puma kit. Despite the kit being cleared by the Nations Cup organizers, FIFA were not best pleased when Cameroon flaunted their warning and sported the strip during the group stages of the tournament, thus irking Sepp Blatter by directly contravening his ‘no separate shirt/shorts, no service’ rule. FIFA banned Cameroon from wearing the kit in the knock-out stages, but Puma countered by claiming that they simply would not be able to produce a re-jigged kit within the space of a week – leading the Lions to throw caution to the wind and wear the strip again during their 2-1 quarter-final defeat against Nigeria. So the team played against Nigeria with its home green onesie (the yellow one beside was the away onesie kit). Taken aback by the insolence on display, FIFA then deducted six points from Cameroon’s 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign and fined their Football Federation the princely sum of $154,000 dollars – a fine which Puma paid on the organization’s behalf while bizarrely blaming rivals Adidas for influencing the decision due to the German brand’s close ties with football’s governing body. The dispute rumbled on for months, with Puma adamant that no rules had been broken (except the one about red and green never being seen), until both parties agreed to settle out of court – with FIFA finally restoring the six points they had stripped from Cameroon’s qualifying tally. It’s also worth bearing in mind that all this hoopla came just two years after Puma and Cameroon both got their knuckles wrapped for trying it on with a sleeveless number at the 2002 World Cup.
“Africa Cup of the Nations 2004” sleeveless shirt
“Fifa World Cup 2002” shirt
CAMEROON NATIONAL TEAM
Confederation Cup “Russia 2017”
Match Worn Shirt
Did you Know?
This shirt was worn by Sébastien Siani during a Confederation Cup “Russia 2017” game. Siani was born in Senegal to parents of Cameroonian descent. He debuted for the Cameroon national football team in a friendly against Nigeria on 10 October 2015. In the Confederation Cup “Russia 2017” tournament, during the game against Germany a funny and weird thing happened to Siani. Cameroon defender Ernest Mabouka was sent off under VAR against Germany after referee Wilmas Roldan had wrongly dismissed his team-mate. Colombian referee Wilmas Roldan initially brandished a yellow card before VAR was used to reassess the incident. The punishment was upgraded to a red card on review but Roldan mistakenly showed this to Mabouka’s team-mate Sebastien Siani. Cameroon’s players were understandably aghast and protested to Roldan, who eventually sent off Mabouka after being made aware of his mistake following a second look at the video replay. Cameroon coach Hugo Broos was baffled by the decision and said that the referee had not explained his decisions after the game either. “I think everyone is confused, even me,” he told reporters. “I didn’t know what happened, it was a yellow card then a red card, then a red card for another player. Don’t ask me what really happened! I didn’t understand it and I don’t now, either. After seeing it again maybe then I can answer your question but this is something for the referee himself. The referee did not give any explanation. First of all he gave a red card to Siani so people from VAR called him back and said it was the wrong player, so they reviewed the phase of the game and realised it was Mabouka.”