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Monday, 24 June, 2002, 10:55 GMT 11:55 UK
Cameroon president comforts nation
President Biya
President Biya says the team has united Cameroon

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The President of Cameroon, Paul Biya, has urged the country not to be too disappointed with the national team's performance at the World Cup in Japan and Korea.

The Indomitable Lions went out at the group stage after a 2-0 defeat to Germany confirmed their elimination.

But Biya, in an interview on the Cameroon Radio and Television corporation (CRTV), said fans should not be too disheartened.

"I think that Cameroonians should not be disappointed with the Lions," Biya said.

"The competition was very difficult and we could all see from the results."

Biya urged his fellow compatriots to learn to accept defeats as much as they accept victories.

"We cannot always win. In any sports, they must be a victor and a vanquished."

But he admitted that the national team's early ousting was due to external problems.

"I heard that they were problems here and there, problems related to indiscipline," he stated.

"I've not yet seen the Minister of Youth and Sports, to get the feedback. Since he returned, he's been very busy with elections┐ campaigns."

But Biya made it clear that every football team was expected to take discipline very importantly, as in the military.


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GROUP E
  P GD PTS
GERMANY 3 +10 7
IRELAND 3 +3 5
CAMEROON 3 -1 4
SAUDI ARABIA 3 -12 0

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