Preparations for the forthcoming Women's Volleyball African Nations Championship are marred by the actions of former Cameroon Volleyball Federation president Julien Serge Abouem, who seems determined to sow doubt.
Serge Abouem, the outgoing president of the Fécavolley, increasingly in a tight spot
The Women's Volleyball African Nations Championship (CAN), scheduled for August 14-25, 2023 in Cameroon, is being prepared in a climate marked by turbulence orchestrated by the former president of the Cameroon Volleyball Federation (Fécavolley). While the new Fécavolley management is recognized by the African Volleyball Confederation (CAVB) and the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB), Julien Serge Abouem is multiplying his maneuvers to sow confusion and compromise the organization of this major event.
Julien Serge Abouem calls for a postponement
On August 4, 2023, the former executive sent letters to the presidents of the African national volleyball federations, expressing his wish to postpone the tournament. However, the CAVB was quick to respond, stating that the correspondence did not emanate from the competent authority. "After contacting the host country, the CAVB realized that this correspondence was not official and that the current Executive Board of the Cameroon National Volleyball Federation [...] had no knowledge of it", reacted CAVB First Vice-President General Idriss Dokony Adiker.
This incident raised doubts as to the true intentions of Julien Serge Abouem, who did not sit idly by. Indeed, the day after the CAVB's response, Abouem sent a letter to the organization's president.He stated that Fécavolley would in no way be taking part in the Yaoundé tournament, thus confirming his intention to boycott the competition.
After asking for the Competition to be cancelled
The Organizing Committee sees these actions as "yet another insidious media campaign aimed at discrediting Cameroon". This strategy is reminiscent of previous attempts by Mr. Abouem to sabotage the event.
In March 2023, Mr. Abouem had already sent a letter to Cameroon's Prime Minister requesting "non-validation of the organization" of the said competition. He wrote: "In the current context of disputes at the head of the Federation, it would be risky to organize such an event which would not have the support of the greatest number of people".
On April 22, 2023, despite clear answers from the CAVB, Julien Serge Abouem persisted in his efforts to sow discord and confusion.
He set up a "Working Group" claiming to be in charge of supervising the organization of the Women's Volleyball CAN.Cameroon's Minister of Sport condemns the actions of the Abouem clan, whom he accuses of waging an "insidious and malicious media campaign", whose approach "is part of an unacceptable imposture and usurpation of title".