Naga Corp’s Samuel Oseika (right) and Build Bright United’s Nelson Oladiji are two of the numerous African players from Metfone C-League clubs who will be on show during this week’s Mock African Nations Cup. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun
With the conclusion of the Metfone C-League season on August 21, a new competition named the Mock African Nations Cup has been organised for the numerous foreign players eager to stretch their legs during the off-season. Held in memory of Nigeria-born Prek Pra Keila player Wilson Mene, who suffered a fatal heart attack on the pitch during a league match on May 8, the five-day event starting today has been organised by the newly formed African Football Union, with the blessing of the Football Federation of Cambodia.
All African players from Cambodia’s domestic leagues and many more compatriots yet to secure a football contract have been arranged into six teams named after the six nations that represented the continent at the 2010 World Cup; Algeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa. They will compete for a trophy donated by Austin Koledoye, director of athletics and after-school programs at Northbridge International School, and US$1,000 prize money granted by Nigerian businessman Ezekiel Okezie.
All matches will play out at the National Sports Complex mini pitch, with today’s opening match between Ghana and Cameroon kicking off at 3:30pm. Teams play 7-a-side games, 25 minutes each way. The six teams have been split into two groups to play round robin fixtures before the top four teams progress to semifinals and the grand final Friday. The opening match kicks off at 3:30pm on Monday with Ghana taking on Cameroon.
The AFU has about 75 registered members with Emmanuel Okoduwa, an AFC graded Referee as the president. Khemara Keila coach Solomon Demagudu is the first Vice president while Preah Khan Reach defender Nzekwesi Anthony as second Vice President.
“We decided to form this union after the death of Wilson to foster unity and solidarity amongst African Players in Cambodia” said Solomon Demagudu. “We want to show to the fans and the football federation that we are responsible and show what we are capable of doing. We hope club coaches and scouts will come to watch the games and pick some players for the next season.”