Cameroon FA president Samuel Eto’o has set a semi-final target for the Lionesses in the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (Wafcon) that starts on July 2 in Morocco.
Cameroon, who are in Group B alongside Zambia, Tunisia and Togo, suffered a 4-0 loss to France in a friendly match on Saturday but while he was not disappointed with the results, Eto’o hopes the squad learned valuable lessons to take in to the tournament.
"Sincerely, if I tell you that I was awaiting a victory for us, I would be lying. You'll play many matches like this,” Eto’o told the players after the match.
“For me, you're the best in Africa, but that's not the dream I have for you. It is here that I await you because in Africa we will be in at least the semi-finals. The real challenge is here, it's the next World Cup,” added the former Indomitable Lions captain.
“And like I was telling the representative of the president of French Football Federation; I wish that we also play France in Yaounde. We will have to participate in all the big tournaments that have teams that are currently better than us."
The comments are in contrast to Eto’o sentiments to the men’s national team following their less-than-convincing 1-0 win over Burundi in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier early this month.
"I am not happy. I don't care who you play against; you represent Cameroon. I am not happy at all. In my time, I missed the World Cup because I knew what problems I had. Those problems won't repeat themselves while I'm president,” he told the Indomitable Lions.
“Places in this team will be earned. Nobody, I repeat, nobody has a place guaranteed in this team. You must do your job. Whoever comes here to wear this shirt must do the job, or else, he goes and I will be happy to have the children play,” added the former Barcelona, Inter Milan and Chelsea striker.
The Lionesses will open their Wafcon campaign on July 3 against Zambia before a meeting with Togo three days later and end the group phase after taking on Tunisia on July 9.
A semi-final is a realistic target for Cameroon who finished third in the last edition held in Ghana in 2018 as they have reached the last four in each of the last 11 editions of the tournament.
The Lionesses have, however, never been crowned Africa’s finest after losing finals in 1991, 2004, 2014 and 2016.