The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon are set to face Russia for the first game between both nations since 2011.
The upcoming friendly match has been billed for October 12 at the Dinamo Lev Yashin Stadium in Moscow and will kick off at 7 pm local time (5 pm Cameroon time).
In a release announcing the game, the Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT) said Cameroon will be facing Senegal in another friendly four days later.
FECAFOOT said the friendly “aims at providing quality preparation to our national team ahead of the FIFA World Cup qualifier campaign and their participation at the 2023 AFCON Ivory Coast”.
The game is expected to be a tough test for both teams. The latest FIFA rankings place Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions 41st in the world, while Russia is ranked 39th.
The last football game between both nations took place at the Stadion Salzburg in Russia on June 7, 2011, and it ended 0-0.
The game will help the country assess its level of preparedness for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
The Cameroon-Russia friendly on October 12 will come four months after an earlier friendly match scheduled between both nations failed to hold.
The game was set to play at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 15 but was cancelled a month earlier.
FECAFOOT did not provide any reasons for the cancellation. However, pro-Ukrainian news outlets linked the cancellation to the ongoing war in Ukraine, which has made many countries sceptical of interacting openly with Moscow.
The rescheduling of the match for October 12, however, speaks volumes of Cameroon’s willingness to continue normal relations with Russia amid campaigns by Western countries for the isolation of Russia on the international scene.
Cameroon and most African countries have been largely neutral towards the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
The country was among tens of African countries that attended the Russia-Africa Summit held in St. Petersburg from July 27–28.
Though Russia is currently suspended from all FIFA and UEFA competitions due to its attack on Ukraine, analysts think Cameroon is using the upcoming friendly more for diplomatic purposes.
The game could further strengthen diplomatic ties between both countries.