M’Boma supports Champagne for Fifa presidency

By alex wafula
Jan 14, 2016
  • Patrick M'Mboma believes Champagne has the right agenda for African football. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Patrick M’Boma, a former Cameroon striker and African Player of the Year recipient has has thrown his weight behind Jerome Champagne as the FIFA elections draw closer, saying he has a good agenda for Africa.

M’Boma believes the Frenchman is the best pick to lead the world soccer governing body with his experience.

He also supports Champagne’s agenda of adding the number of African teams playing at the World Cup, adding this will enhance the continent’s chances of some day winning the coveted title.

“It does not make sense that Africa is only given five slots from 51 federations while Europe has 14 from 54 federations. This is one of the areas I highly support Champagne on and I believe he will bring change to FIFA,” M’Boma said.

He took a swipe at his own local federation, FECAFOOT which he said has had a big hand in the deteriorating levels of Cameroonian football.

“Since 2008 when we reached the Nations Cup finals, the team has gone down. The spirit has gone down and the team does not play like it used to. The FA has not done a good job and they should be blamed for this. People can’t say the players or the coaches are bad. It is the federation that is responsible,” M’Boma said.

He suggested that leadership has a key role to play in the growth of football in the African continent, which he says is not deprived of talent.

The striker most famously known for his overhead kick goal against France in the 1998 World Cup went on to recount his pleasant memories with the Indomitable Lions with nostalgic smiles on his face.

Winning the Olympic Gold in Sydney in 2000 he says was his biggest day as a national team player and describes the moment as magic. He recounted with sorrow though the passing on of team mate Marc Vivien Foe in the FIFA Confederations Cup semifinal match against Colombia on June 26 2003 and described that moment as ‘heavy’.

“It was very sad and hard to accept that a strong man like Foe had passed on. It was tough playing the final afterwards and moving on from his death was not easy. He was not only a teammate but a personal friend and for me, it wasn’t easy,” he added.

M'Boma: Elect credible officials

M’Boma, has urged Football Kenya Federation delegates to vote wisely and elevate to power credible candidates who understand and have passion for the game.

Speaking at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre where he was official unveiled as the celebrity guest for this year’s Sports Personality of the Year (SOYA) awards, M’Boma says the growth of the game in the country is determined by the leaders elected into office.

“The Kenyan delegates are going to the elections now and it is up to them to bring in good leaders who have interest in the game. That is the only way the football can improve. Kenya is a country with good talent and the spirit is there,” M’Boma offered.

The Cameroonian midfielder went on to praise Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama whom he says has the ability to be one of the best in the continent. He however believes, the only thing standing between Wanyama and stardom is a big team move.

“If I walk on the streets of France today and ask someone who Wanyama is, nearly half of them don’t know. But if he moves to one of the big teams with his quality, then he will be one of the biggest players in the continent,” the Cameroonian noted.

He says he saw Wanyama for the first time during his time at Celtic while commentating a Champions League match in Glasgow and was immediately attracted to his work rate. He describes him as a hard worker, box to box midfielder and versatile in his play.

M’Boma who says he has enjoyed Kenyan hospitality will be leaving the country on Saturday.