Joel Embiid, the international basketball star, does he want to become French? Young Africa

In Yaounde, as in Douala, the question of dual citizenship is easily aroused. Surtout lorsqu’elle touche aux vedettes sportives et au choix des couleurs qu’elles défendront durant leur carrière, l’opinion publique opposant souvent les athlètes patriotes aux ingrats qui se montreraientable lais reix dena pays on capu, in capu today.

Basketball player Joel Embiid has learned this the hard way since RMC Sport said on its website Monday 2 May that he would “begin the administrative procedures for obtaining French citizenship and be able to play for the French national basketball team”. The article in question does not cite any source, but adds that “stay [en France] It is expected by the end of June that the file will be completed.”

The person concerned, who is the son of a retired colonel, did not respond to this new controversy. call him young africa, Relatives confirm he is focused on the NBA playoffs as his Philadelphia Sixers trail 1-0 in the series opposing them at the Miami Heat on behalf of the semi-finals. But many Cameroonians, whether they are basketball fans or not, expressed strong dissatisfaction, accusing the native of the Damas district, located on the outskirts of Yaounde, of treason.

“Why France? »

Some look bleakly at the fact that Embiid plays for a country other than Cameroon when he owes his career to Cameroonian basketball player, Luc Mbah er Mot. They don’t hesitate to recall that during a training session organized by the former Houston Rockets star in Yaounde, Joel Embiid, who had until then been fond of volleyball, was spotted by NBA scouts. Others blame him for choosing France. “Why this country? One user wrote on Twitter: “France did nothing for him, it would have been the US, we would have understood this decision but not France.”

The Cameroon Federation gave up the race to choose Embiid since the years 2017-18

However, Embiid can count on some support, including those who decry the inability of the Cameroon Basketball Association to afford the services of the highest-rated Cameroonian player in history. They add that the choice of sports nationality will not prevent him from participating in the development of sports in his country of origin.

Cameroon coach Alain Manga recalls, “Our federation gave up the race to pick Embiid since 2017-18. Joel has always wanted to play for Cameroon, but his multiple injuries and clauses in his contract that require Fecabasket to take out huge insurance to make him discourage him. The file was buried when he was caseHThey don’t have the money for it, Tate said, through the sports department. »

A rapprochement that goes back a long time

It must be said that the story of the rapprochement between Joel Embiid and the France team is not new. In September 2014, Embiid received an invitation from French-Cameroonian player Nicolas Batum to join the team. A suggestion that the person in question was quickly rejected, stating that he did not hold French citizenship.

Joel remains a Cameroonian player, and we will always support him as such.

The possibility of Embiid being selected for the France team again caused a stir in 2018. “There are other countries, like France. I love France, it’s a chance. I have a lot of friends and family there. “France is an option, but we’ll see,” he said on the sidelines of the All-Star game.

Except that, this time around, the French athletes reacted poorly, on the grounds that the Sixers hub had few ties to France. “I have a lot of family members in France, Embiid protested in an interview with the newspaper the team. Uncles and aunts… I went there when I was young for a couple of months on vacation. […] I’ve always been a fan of France in general. The fact that I speak French, the family is there, my dad and mom are in France maybe three times a year and wanted to buy a house or apartment there. »

What will be the outcome of this case? The Cameroon Federation is keen not to pay attention to “rumours”. “There is nothing concrete,” says one of the company’s executives. If it’s official, we’ll take note. But, until that happens, Joel remains a Cameroonian player, and we will always support him as such. »

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