Political rivalries and personal ambitions have paralyzed the Cameroon Boxing Federation for the past year, leaving the fate of the institution hanging in a never-ending crisis.
The crisis within the Cameroon Boxing Federation (Fécaboxe), which began in December 2022 when the electoral process was launched, is reaching worrying proportions. The conflict came to a head in May 2023, when the outgoing president, Bertrand Mendouga, who was also head of the Confédération Africaine de Boxe at the time, decided to stand for re-election.
At the time, voices were raised in opposition to his candidacy, denouncing a blatant accumulation of functions. Faced with these developments, Cameroon's Minister of Sport Narcisse Mouelle Kombi set up a Provisional Management Committee (CPG) to head Fécaboxe on July 14, 2023, in the hope of an immediate return to normality.
To each his own candidate
However, the election, initially scheduled for October 21, never took place, plunging the Federation into a political impasse. In the meantime, Bertrand Mendouga was stripped of his position at the Confédération Africaine de Boxe. It is rumoured that the man and the former Fécaboxe management team are now trying to make a comeback at national level.
Rumours are circulating that the latter intends to appoint his former secretary general, André Basile Kalong, as his designated successor as president of the body. This move is strongly contested by the former Executive's opponents, who are calling on the CPG to restart the electoral process where it left off, i.e. without Bertrand Mendouga, but with Pr Pierre René Binyom as the sole candidate for the Fécaboxe presidency.
The two camps, now in open warfare, are sticking to their respective positions, making any peaceful resolution of the conflict difficult. The CPG has attempted mediation, but the differences persist. A recent consultation aimed at finding a consensual solution and relaunching the electoral process failed to reach agreement. Despite this, an electoral timetable has been proposed to the Minister of Sport for consideration."We are here to provide the Federation with a legitimate and legal Executive to carry on the titanic work that lies ahead", says CPG President Pierre Edmond Banga.
However, tensions persist, and some players stress the need to move forward without wasting any more time. "The electoral process in this federation has dragged on too long, and we've been at it for over a year now.These are clan problems, problems of men. There are certainly divergent opinions, but there are also texts and awards that must be respected", maintains a boxing referee. The players in Cameroonian boxing need to work together to revise the Federation's statutes, adopt an electoral code, elect members of the Electoral Commission and members of the Appeals Commission before electing the next Executive Board. Negotiations continue.