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Cameroon: Sexual blackmail and harassment at Coton Sport Garoua

Cameroon: Sexual blackmail and harassment at Coton Sport Garoua

Current Cameroon champions Coton Sport de Garoua have been rocked by a case of sexual harassment and blackmail at their training center.  A complaint has even been lodged with the court.

Revealed by Franck Erick Diffo for Sport-Vibes, this case is causing quite a stir in the microcosm of Cameroonian soccer. "This phenomenon is much more widespread than you think," confirms a player who used to play for Coton Sport de Garoua. "The practice is accepted by many. In fact, a young player from the Coton Sport training center was repeatedly asked to provide sexual services in exchange for a sporting promotion. The advances were repeatedly refused, but this did not discourage the management. "It's simple blackmail: you have sex and we help you with your career", says a source who alerted Sport News Africa to the practice nearly six months ago.

Unlike the majority of players, who prefer to remain silent, one of them has lodged an official complaint with the court for harassment. Alerted, the club's management attempted mediation, according to Sport-Vibes, offering two million CFA francs (around 3,000 euros) for the hopeful to withdraw his complaint. The prospect categorically refused.Not the first case in Cameroon soccer

The Coton Sport de Garoua case is not the first to rock Cameroonian soccer with regard to sexual abuse. Last winter, an investigation at Bafoussam's Capefoot revealed acts of paedophilia and sperm trafficking by its founder, Kamdem Guy Alain, known as Capello.  Although an investigation was officially opened, no decision was taken, helped by the fact that few victims dared to denounce the acts. This silence had also enabled Alain Wabo, also nicknamed Capello, to coach the Cameroonian youth national team without worry, abusing many hopefuls until his death in 2010.

On its part, the Cameroon Football Federation has never commented on the matter. This inaction is unlikely to last long, given the number of cases in the pipeline. Several local journalists are reporting cases in Yaoundé, not forgetting that women's soccer has not been spared. In Cameroon, as in Gabon, France and Zimbabwe, sexual abuse of minors in soccer - and sport in general - is more than ever a problem.

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