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State interference: FIFA threatens to suspend Cameroon

State interference: FIFA threatens to suspend Cameroon

Cameroon is once again in FIFA's firing range. A letter from the Cameroonian Minister of Sports who tries to prevent the holding of the Extraordinary General Assembly of FECAFOOT on Tuesday 13 July, is at the center of this fresh controversy.

The news came as a surprise. In a few words, FIFA is warning against any interference by the Cameroonian government in the affairs of its member association, FECAFOOT. The correspondence signed this Monday by Fatma Samoura and Veron Mosengo-Omba, is clear.

The Extraordinary General Assembly (EGA) of FECAFOOT, scheduled for Tuesday, July 13 in Yaounde must absolutely take place. In other words, Cameroon will be suspended by the world football body. "In the event that the EGM is not organized as planned and the texts revised in collaboration with FIFA cannot be adopted, we will be forced to present the situation of FECAFOOT to the competent bodies of FIFA for consideration and decision," wrote the two secretaries of FIFA and CAF.

The warning from the two bodies follows a letter from the Cameroonian Minister of Sports to FECAFOOT on 8 July. In his letter, Narcisse Mouelle Kombi asked the Federation to postpone the holding of this EGM whose agenda is the adoption of new texts.

The minister evokes as arguments, the non-respect of the texts in force and the spirit of the sentences rendered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on January 15 and the Chamber of Conciliation and Arbitration of June 10, 2021, inducing "the illegitimacy of the members convened to this General Assembly". The DO of the Yaounde 2 district cancelled the holding of the said General Assembly.

In response to the reasons raised by the Cameroonian Minister of Sports, FIFA and CAF decided. "The CAS considered that it was up to the bodies currently in place at FECAFOOT to finalize as soon as possible the process of adopting the statutes and regulatory texts necessary in compliance with the 2012 statutes, before proceeding to new elections," we learn.

Furthermore, the steps taken by FECAFOOT with the support of Fifa "are in line with the above-mentioned arbitration award and therefore fully necessary". As a result, "the reasons put forward by the Minister (of Sports) in his letter cannot prevent the convened EGM from taking place", the warning was clearer.

FIFA and CAF therefore invite FECAFOOT "to continue with its organizational preparations" and ask the local authorities "to kindly support it in this process, for the good of Cameroonian football. A suspension of the country could lead to the withdrawal of the organization of the 2021 African Cup of Nations.

A risk that the authorities are not ready to take. The proof: a few minutes after the broadcasting of the correspondence from FIFA, the DO of the Yaoundé 2 district went back on his decision. Mamadi Mahamat finally authorized the holding of the EGM on Tuesday 13 July 2021.

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