The social media is awash with images and brief amateur videos of Cameroun’s President, Paul Biya crashing to the ground after making a brief statement to declare the continental football jamboree open.
According to eyewitnesses and the short videos in circulation, the Nonagenarian had just finished reading his pre-prepared remark and then made to sit down while the First Lady and all others at the presidential tribune were still standing and cheering when he suddenly found himself crashing to the ground.
The commotion that followed this historic fall, which is not the first during a sporting event in Cameroun, attracted the attention of the First Lady who turned quickly to his rescue. Inside sources at the Presidency of the Republic of Cameroon say that Mrs. Biya Chantal was required to stand beside the President in the Presidential Limousine to stand ready to support him in case he ran into a malaise. The incident seemed to take attention away from the pitch where the local squad, the Indomitable Lions were having a tough time disposing of the Stallions of Burkina Faso, a squad deprived of its star players who reportedly tested positive to Covid-19 less than 48 hours to the start of the tournament.
Cameroun beat the Stallions of Burkina-Faso 2-nil to earn the first three points in the tournament. The Burkinabe opened the scores early in the encounter and then Cameroun came from behind to score twice from the penalty spot through Vincent Abubakar.
Cameroun’s ailing President was only able to review the troops standing in his limousine as against old practice where he marched before the troops soon after the singing of the national anthem.