OITA – Cameroon’s World Cup team finally arrived at their training camp in the village of Nakatsue, Oita Prefecture, in the wee hours of Friday morning.
The African team arrived five days later than scheduled due to disputes over bonus payments for some players and a flight delay. Their chartered flight arrived at Fukuoka airport at 11:38 p.m. Thursday.
Despite the team’s arrival in Nakatsue shortly after 3 a.m., about 150 villagers showed up at a sports center where the team will be staying to welcome them, many waving Cameroon’s national flag.
Team captain Rigobert Song said that although they will not be staying long, they hope to have many opportunities to meet local residents.
As a result of the delay, the organizing committee for the camp has already canceled Cameroon’s practice match against a select team of high school players from Oita Prefecture.
The Cameroon team left for Tosu, Saga Prefecture, on Friday afternoon for a friendly match with a Japanese professional team. On Saturday, it was to move on to Kobe for a practice match against the England team Sunday.
The African team will then return to Nakatsue, but is scheduled to head to its next camp venue, in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi Prefecture, on Tuesday.
The team will play its first match against Ireland on June 1. The World Cup tournament, being jointly hosted by Japan and South Korea, runs from May 31 to June 30.
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