A state of anxiety prevails within the Algerian national soccer team before meeting its Cameroonian counterpart on March 25 in the first leg of the qualifying match for the 2022 World Cup, which will be hosted by Qatar starting in November.
The reason behind these fears and concern is the increase in threats by Boko Haram, which has continued its terrorist acts in several regions of Cameroon in recent days, resulting in the killing of a number of soldiers as well as innocent civilians, according to the various headlines that came in many local newspapers in the capital, Yaounde.
The security situation has returned to running out of control again on the Cameroon-Nigeria border a few days before Cameroon’s match against its Algerian counterpart at Japoma stadium in the first leg of qualifying match for the World Cup in Qatar.
In recent days, Boko Haram has carried out intense attacks on the border between Cameroon and Nigeria, which resulted in the death of a soldier and the mutilation of his body, while dozens of soldiers as well as civilians were injured.
Breadth of battles
The battles between Boko Haram and the Cameroonian army expanded to include parties inside Cameroonian cities, not far from the city of Douala, where the Japoma stadium is located that will host the match against the Algerian national team on March 25.
According to the latest security reports from Cameroon, a major risk of terrorism threatens the Algerian team as it travels to Douala to compete in the first leg of the African qualifying match for the World Cup finals in Qatar.
An armed group had raised the concerns of the Cameroonian security authorities during the recent African Cup of Nations that took place in the country, specifically in Limbe, which hosted Group F matches and included Mali, Tunisia, Mauritania and Gambia, complicating the preparations of these teams for the matches played there.
Terrorist operations are continuing in Cameroon, launched by Boko Haram, and the latest operation by the terrorist organization was launched against a military base north of Yaounde near the border with Nigeria on Tuesday, March 8, which resulted in the killing of a Cameroon soldier and the injury of many others.
On Wednesday, March 9, Boko Haram launched an attack in a village located in the Kolofata district of the Mayo-Sava department, which resulted in the injury of many residents of the village, in addition to the families of a number of the village’s youth, according to the preliminary results announced by the county governor.
In the event that fierce battles continue between the Cameroonian army and Boko Haram and spread to other regions, the match between Algeria and Cameroon in Douala will be under threat of cancellation due to the deteriorating security situation.
The Cameroonian press also confirmed on Wednesday, March 9, that Boko Haram has intensified its terrorist operations in separate areas of the country and is now targeting military barracks as well as populated villages, according to Flash Info, which confirmed that Boko Haram exploits sensitive areas in Cameroon, such as those bordering the Gulf of Guinea, which is open to the Atlantic Ocean, as well as cities on the border with Nigeria.
The developments in the security situation in Cameroon during the next few days will be a reference to the possibility of canceling or holding the play-off match of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers on schedule between the Algerian national team and its Cameroonian host on March 25.
It is not yet clear whether the Algerian Football Federation will act with the Confederation of African Football regarding these developments in order to obtain security guarantees before traveling to Douala.