Home » Cameroon’s Olivier Kemen evaluates his debut AFCON tournament

Cameroon’s Olivier Kemen evaluates his debut AFCON tournament

by Lesley Ngwa
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  • Olivier Kemen is disappointed he couldn’t help Cameroon perform better than a 16th final running during the 2023 AFCON
  • The midfielder’s recurrent injury situation during the tournament accounts for his poor input for Rigobert Song’s team
  • Kemen is optimistic of a better display next time and already working towards that

Indomitable Lions’ and Kayserispor midfielder Olivier Kemen has expressed discontent about his output during Cameroon’s running at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Côte D’Ivoire.

Kemen who entered the tournament as one of the players expected to star for Cameroon ended up making just one start in four games to the disappointment of many diehards of the team.

The 24-year-old says injuries took a toll on his contribution but he remains optimistic about a better showing next time out.

“I arrived at the AFCON in a less than minimum level of fitness due to repeated injuries. This made me fail to shine for my nation as I wanted.”

Kemen who was the lead midfielder during the qualifier played through the pains bearers and was below par and was heavily criticized by fans who know his true capabilities.

Despite the criticism, he keeps his head high and says he will work harder to be back stronger.

“Criticisms must always start from the concerned and we have to accept that, then move forward. What is sure is I remain confident and have returned to work and thanks to God I will completely shake off the injuries.”

Whatever happens in futute, the former Newcastle United FC midfielder who came through the youth set up of PSG has had the feel of his first international tournament with Cameroon, the onus are on him to retain the positives and work harder to achieve a more impactful contribution when he gets the next chance.

Cameroon will begin the quest to qualify for the 2025 AFCON in September, but before then, Kemen and his mates will get together in June to honor the double-header appointment against Cape Verde Island and Angola in the crucial 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

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