Roger Milla and his 1990 Fifa World Cup team of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon had to wait for 30 years to obtain the promise of houses from the government for their exploits at the tournament as the first African team to reach the quarterfinals.
Already president of the central African nation by then, Paul Biya promised to offer a three-bedroom bungalow to each of the 22 players but the project hit snag when 44 names of beneficiaries were submitted to the government who decided to abandon the idea, citing corruption and malpractices.
However, efforts by the union of retired Cameroon footballers to revive the promise eventually paid off following a decree signed by Biya to distribute the buildings to the authentic squad of 22.
The houses are situated in Yaoundé, Douala and Limbe, according to government sources. Three players from that famous team are no more. They are namely – Louis Paul Mfede, Benjamin Massing and Stephen Tataw.
The Indomitable Lions stunned Argentina (1-0) in their group opener in Milan, Italy, before edging Romania 2-1 and losing to Russia in the third match which was a dead rubber.
In the Round of 16, Cameroon overcame Colombia 2-1 but fell to England 3-2 in the quarterfinals after extra time, to bow out of the competition making history.
Roger Milla, then 38, was the team’s top scorer at the tournament with four goals.