Coronavirus pandemic has brought football to a halt across the globe. In the process, the pandemic has affected not only competitions but also careers of many footballers.
Cameroon AFCON-winning star striker Christian Bassogog is no exception. For starters, the 24-year-old was named Player of the Tournament as Cameroon won the 2017 AFCON held in Gabon. He now plays for Henan Jianye in China.
In this wide ranging interview, the China-based burly striker talks at length about how Covid-19 has affected him personally, how he is coping and his view on Cameroon’s chances of winning the next AFCON they will host and why he supports the decision to suspend major football activities.
Q: How have you been affected by Covid-19 pandemic in China?
CB: The virus has really disrupted me because it was unexpected. It’s something that just appeared out of a sudden and everything stopped; and I say this with regards to the football activities I had to carry out; football being my main activity.
Q: How are you keeping in shape?
CB: To preserve myself, I have been indoors all this time, going out only to do sport and returning home right afterwards. There I normally use hand sanitizers to help me keep this illness at a distance.
Q: What is your view on the suspension of football competitions such as AFCON qualifiers?
CB: Talking about the various competitions that have been suspended, it truly affects everyone. It’s something that has really grounded the world. It’s an illness. I wish it should not have come because football is my life; it feeds my family, it feeds me, it enables me to live. Talking about the qualification match that got stopped, I think it was necessary to stop it because health comes before everything. We all need to be healthy, to be in good shape before we can do whatever we are supposed to do. I think the decision to suspend everything was a good one even though that has affected everyone, including footballers like myself and supporters all over the world. I pray that this illness would disappear.
Q: Cameroon is scheduled to host the next AFCON…do you think Covid-19 would affect such plans?
CB: It’s important, I say, very important to preserve people’s health and if the government or CAF could postpone this date, it’s to ensure that if we really do have to host this competition, it should be a feast for the country; a competition in which everyone in Cameroon will be part of; happy to have it hosted by our country.
Q: What are chances of Cameroon repeating the feat of 2017 when you won AFCON?
CB: To be honest, Cameroon has got lots of chances to win this CAN because (first of all) it’s going to be played at home and we all know it’s a trophy we must keep with us, if not it’s going to affect our morale and international careers. So, it’s left for us to work hard enough in order to keep this trophy home.
Q: Does hosting AFCON increase your chances of winning again?
CB: Yes, I think we are lucky to have it hosted by Cameroon because playing in front of one’s family, loved ones and supporters gives a boost to our morale so I think it’s great to have it in our country.
Q: Tell us about your management company in terms of how it has supported you in your career? How did they discover you?
CB: I got in touch with Rainbow, thanks to my coach, who today is of blessed memory. He is the one who linked me up with Rainbow and Rainbow gave me the opportunity to let the world discover my talents; making me play with Wilmington, Aalborg and today, Henan where I’m anxious to go back and meet my teammates for us to continue with the competition. I am even part of the great Rainbow family, and it’s thanks to Rainbow that I developed my talents and the whole world discovered me.
I wish that all activities should resume around the world.
See you very soon!
Source: Peter Kanjere| SWAM