Former Cameroonian football player Emile Mbouh recently visited our VOA studios to discuss his soccer academy and the Africa Cup of Nations football tournament in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. The 45-year-old Mbouh played professionally for clubs in France, Malaysia, Portugal, Qatar and Singapore. He also played in the 1990 and 1994 World Cups for Cameroon.

Emile says he was very disappointed the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon did not qualify for the 28th edition of the Nations Cup, since the co-hosts Gabon and Equatorial Guinea are geographic neighbors of Cameroon.

Mbouh says the performance of Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, which both reached the quarterfinals, shows African soccer is progressing.

Though his playing days are over, Mbouh is still very involved in football. He runs a soccer academy in the Washington area for players between the ages of 5-19. Mbouh says his philosophy is about development and not winning at all costs. He says the traditional American system of developing soccer players is “too structured and needs to be changed.” Emile Mbouh says there is no flair and no creativity in U.S. soccer.