Late buses, busy roads disrupt Cameroon team plans in Russia

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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) Late buses and busy roads are messing up Cameroon’s pre-match plans in Russia.

“The traffic in Moscow is a disaster,” Cameroon coach Hugo Broos told The Associated Press on Wednesday after a news conference in St. Petersburg which was also delayed by transport issues at the Confederations Cup.

The mandatory session with international media started 30 minutes late at the stadium where Cameroon plays Australia on Thursday.

A team dinner also began late at 10 p.m. Tuesday after its official bus to training did not arrive on time at the hotel, then got stuck in traffic.

That disruption was “really unpleasant,” said Broos, adding he was “extremely annoyed once again” with transport at the rehearsal tournament for the 2018 World Cup.

“I think that the organizing team must maybe review the way teams are transferred from the hotels to the stadium,” said the Belgian coach, who led Cameroon to an unexpected Africa Cup of Nations title in February.

In Moscow, where Cameroon played its first match on Sunday, the team had arrived one hour late at the stadium.

An escort by one police car had been inefficient and simply followed the traffic, Broos told The AP.

The problems were aired with the final question of a relaxed 20-minute news conference with the affable Broos and midfielder Sebastien Siani.

Broos responded to a Russian television reporter pointing out that his team was late to the Tuesday training session and the news conference.

“I would like to remind you that the match tomorrow (Thursday) is at 6 p.m.,” the reporter chided in Russian.

Broos looked at the reporter and said he was “very happy that you asked me this question.”

“It’s not our fault. I got annoyed twice all ready,” the coach said in French, before explaining three occasions when his team was delayed in Moscow or St. Petersburg.

“First of all the bus arrived 45 minutes late to the hotel and then we got stuck in traffic,” Broos said of Tuesday’s problem as Cameroon tried to prepare in line with the Thursday kickoff time.

“When you have to train at a given time, you have a program. When you have to have dinner at 10 o’clock at night it’s really unpleasant.”