JEAN-ARMEL KANA – BIYIK, TAKES ON THE COACH OF THE INDOMITABLE LIONS.
By Jeremy Gill, US Africa News. Updated 2014-06-12
French-Cameroonian footballer Jean-Armel Kana – Biyik, assuredly over his injury for several days, takes on Volker Finke, the German coach of the Indomitable Lions, and announces his international retirement at age 24.
Why this decision?
I realize that there are lots of shenanigans going on in the Cameroon team, and it will never change. I prefer to put an end to my international career and concentrate fully on my club career in order to become again the Defender that I was.
You are very young to be retiring...
Clearly. I’m not even 25 yet [Kana-Biyik will be 25 on July 3rd]. It may be a surprise to hear, but the Cameroon national team is full of problems. I do not know where I stand with this team. I went into this because I love the country of my parents, my ancestors. But it turns out that this was not at all what I imagined. I had heard things, but I didn't think that it was this far gone. I got confirmation during the final training [of preparation, in Austria].
What happened exactly?
I hurt myself during training [which started May 20th]. I had a slight injury, which abated after three or four days. I told them I was already better, but for some reason they did not want me to train. Even more ridiculous, they made me get an MRI, which showed clearly that everything was fine. On the eve of the match against Germany (2-2, June 1), I didn’t expect to play at all, because I hadn’t trained, but expected at least to do a collective training with the group. ‘Someone’ - I won't mention his name [he means Volker Finke] – directly shunted me off to do 'centres-reprises’. Me, a defender, doing centres-reprises... The day of the match, I'm on the list, to my amazement. I sit on the bench in sneakers, because I know I’m not going to be put in the game. They bring the German team’s doctor to check my thigh, and this doctor tells me that the injury isn’t healed. I tell him: "Wait a minute, you’re not the one playing, it isn’t your body. I feel fine, you’re not going to make the decision for me.” He was insisting that it wasn’t healed, and that’s when I understood that there was a scam behind it.
How do you mean?
I respect people who are frank. I can dislike a person, but if they are candid, I’m going to have respect for them. This ‘someone’, I have no respect for him. If he really wanted not to put me on the list, he should tell me, "Listen, I have other players", or, "I don’t need you”. I would have said, “OK, no problem”. But he didn’t even have courage to tell me face-to-face. I learned the news Monday morning, from a lequipe.fr alert on my phone. At a pinch, he could have simply sent me a message... but not even that! I find it very cowardly.
For what official reason were you rejected ?
If you ask him, he will say I'm injured, but today this is not the case. As of now I have returned to sport [interview conducted Tuesday night]. Excuse me, but someone who has a thigh injury cannot do 30 minutes of jogging and 20 minutes on a bike. In addition, it was in the press, so this is nonsense. He did not want to put me on the list, that's all. I've always been frank, and I like having frankness in return. When you're hypocritical with me, I don’t respect you. On this team, there are hypocrites, brown-nosers, and as long as there are people doing things behind others’ backs, it unfortunately won’t get better. Now they are dealing with their own problems, it’s no longer their business.
Your ejection from the group was due to what precisely, in your opinion?
It must be a bit of everything. Maybe it came from the locker room, or even the staff. I will certainly never know the truth. But they must know that I am not an idiot. I wasn’t born yesterday, I know how things go. Do not take me for a fool.
If those who were against you left, would you change your mind?
Even if they go, there will be others who will perhaps be even worse. It's final, my international career stops here.
But doesn't this give the impression of decision made in haste, because of the huge disappointment of not going to Brazil?
If I didn’t say it today, I would have said it in a month or two. They can no longer count on me, it's over. They can’t call me any more. I am no longer available to them.
Interview by Jeremy Gill, 20minutes.fr