After barely two weeks of preparation, with the new coach and an important number of football players that play for the first time in the Nzalang, we can assure that Equatorial Guinea has a great team: a young group, with enthusiasm, committed, which comes to the CAN with humility, but ready to battle hard on the field. A team that received the visit from the Minister of Youth and Sports, Francisco Pascual Obama, who urged them to play without fear and to give their all for the country.
The great day arrived, the inauguration of the CAN 2015. An African Cup of Nations that our country had not requested and which Morocco rejected for fear of the Ebola virus; and that Equatorial Guinea accepted -as the Minister of Youth and Sports said in his meeting with the players- through “African solidarity.”
A meeting that took place in the restaurant La Corisqueña, of Bata, in which Pascual Obama encouraged the players to play without fear. To give their all in the field and maintain exemplary behavior. He also had words for the coach, Esteban Becker, whom he thanked for his work. “We have spoken many times and we have shaken hands as two men,” affirmed Obama Nsue.
Finally, he said goodbye, personally acknowledging all the players of the national team, whom he wished the best success, which will be the success of the country.
And in the sports field, the ball will begin to roll today in the Nkoantoma Stadium of Bata, at five in the afternoon, in a match to which the national team arrives with very good sensations. The decision taken by Becker to go with Equatoguinean players of birth and ascendancy, leaving in second place the nationalized players, has created a cohesive group in which a good atmosphere reigns, with players who want to demonstrate on the field the confidence deposited in them.
A team that will have in this CAN a trial by fire, but which it can realize, if the results minimally accompany them, a long run. We have a superbly prepared technical group, veteran players with great quality and a large group of young players, with enthusiasm, desire and a great future ahead of them. They just have to be given time, allowing them to work and it is sure that the results will be excellent.
The first test will be against Congo Brazzaville. If we stick to the classifications of the FIFA (Congo 61 – Equatorial Guinea 118) and the African Football Confederation, CAF) (Congo 15 – Equatorial Guinea 37), we would have to consider the game lost, but the Nzalang made everyone realize in the CAN 2012, beating Senegal and Libya, that the classifications are shown on the field.
The results will mark the development of the competition, but Equatorial Guinea is already the champion of Africa in commitment, solidarity and organization. It had only fifty days to organize an African Cup of Nations, which some felt would have to be sent to Qatar, but which will be played in Equatorial Guinea: No one can take that away from the Equatoguinean people!
Text and photos: Javier Hernandez
Equatorial Guinea’s Press and Information Office