Cameroon will open their Group B campaign in the FIFA Confederations Cup when they face Chile at the Otkrytiye Stadium in Moscow today’s evening.
The match will mark an emotional return to the tournament for the Indomitable Lions, whose last appearance in 2003 saw them finish as runners-up (Africa’s best showing in the competition) but was overshadowed by the tragic death of midfielder Marc Vivien Foe.
Cameroon, who claimed the trophy at the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year to earn their spot at the tournament in Russia, come into the match licking their wounds after a 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Colombia in a friendly last Tuesday night.
However, it must be noted that coach Hugo Broos made sweeping changes to the team that defeated Morocco in a 2019 AFCON qualifier just three days prior to the tourney.
The same can be said for Chile, who were beaten 3-2 by Romania in a friendly last Tuesday night, but defeated Burkina Faso (3-0) and drew with Russia (1-1) in games earlier this month.
However, ahead of the encounter, Cameroon midfielder Arnaud Djoum says they will play in memory of their fallen hero, Marc Vivien-Foe.
The late Indomitable Lions legend passed away after collapsing on the pitch during the 2003 FIFA Confederations semi-final against Colombia in France.
Despite attempts to save his life, it was later discovered that Foe suffered from a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Under the guidance of Belgian manager, Hugo Broos, Cameroon will end their 14-year absence from the Confederations Cup when they face Chile today.
The African champions are in Group B with Chile, Australia and Germany.
“We want to play well for him – to honour and respect what he did for Cameroon,” Djoum disclosed
“We want to show a good image of Cameroon for him first.
“In the dressing room, we try not to speak too much about it out of respect for him and his family.
“It’s something we keep really quiet but we know from each other that we have to give everything and play from heart – like he did.”
The Scotland-based midfielder made his debut under Broos at the 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and feels the connection with Foe more than others as he wears the number 17 which was worn by Foe.