By Beng Emmanuel
The anthem of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations has been selected, alongside the Mascot-MOLA which is now pending approval from the Confederation of African Football, CAF.
This comes after several weeks of deliberations between members of the jury tasked with the selection exercise. The results were presented during a ceremony to unveil the best selected works of the national artistic contest on Saturday at the Yaoundé Multi-purpose Sport complex.
There were 100 entries for the anthem, but only the most outstanding three were chosen. They all meet the jury’s requirement of; melody, the rhythm, the relationship between the song and sports, the text and the originality.
After listening to the various contesters, the jury declared the group “Africa Smile” as winners. The group scored 86.32/100 points with their soundtrack “Fou de foot”. Miss Grace Bethel emerged second with 84.71 followed by the duo George Seba and Taty Eyong with 78pts.
The official Mascot of the 2021 AFCON has been named MOLA-a local parlance that means respect, friendship, uncle, comrade etc.
Similarly, a total of 35 proposals were submitted nationwide, but only the best three were retained for the final selection.
At the end, Fonkoua Felix’s mascot was ranked as the first with a score of 22/40 points. Those of Dissake Bryan Thomas (21.67/40) and Mbong Ruffin Valery (17, 9/40) were second and third respectively.
These decisions were attained after consultations between members of the jury and the fans vote.
The ceremony also celebrated thirty nine (39) former players of the national team of all generations from the 70’s present yesterday. They unanimously resolved to support the current cast of players retain the AFCON trophy on home soil.
Ginainforms understands that the mascot of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations will be forwarded to Africa’s regulatory football body CAF for validation.
The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations will take place in Cameroon from January 9 to February 6, 2022. The tournament draw will take place on June 25.
Former Indomitable Lions and Football representatives react.
Awasum Jnr-President of the Cameroon American Football Federation
“My appraisals are very good. It is a marvellous job well done. I want to congratulate the various committees especially for the mascot and also for the anthem. They did a great job in selecting and that is wonderful”.
Jean II Makoun-Former Indomitable Lion midfielder
“I think we have to really congratulate members of the jury for a job well done. They took a lot of time to achieve this. It’s not an easy job. We trust in their decision and hope that those selected will be up to expectation during the AFCON next year”
Francois Omam-Biyik-Former Indomitable Lion forward
“The ceremony was colourful. It is true that we saw three good mascots, but we needed a winner. The Jury’s and the fans have decided. I think that Africa Smiles better represents Cameroon. However, like the president of the jury mentioned, there is still some works to be done.
N’dip Akem-Former Indomitable Lions defender
“I am not a member of the jury , but I believe the better anthem and mascot have been selected. I think everything that has been chosen, I am happy with it. “