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Opinions of Friday, 12 December 2014

Journaliste: Adolf Mongo Dipoko

The gimmicks in FECAFOOT

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The Stalemate in the Federation of Cameroon’s Football governing body, fondly referred to in its French acronym, Federation Camerounaise de Football (FECAFOOT) is a reflection of society, where rules are either bended to suit certain interests or, even where good ones are never respected.

And when critics attempt to point out how much the country bears the semblance of a Lawless State, some overzealous Officials of State are quick to defend the System. The argument is always that the laws as bright as Crystal in the Statute books.

Today, it has become obvious that Cameroon’s Football Governing body, FECAFOOT is in a dilemma, a very confusing stalemate that has dragged on for a very long time, which even provoked FIFA, the World Football governing body to suspend our beloved Lions from participating in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

When a compromise was struck, FIFA reconsidered its stand on the issue and handed over the responsibility to the normalization committee to put the House in order, the House being FECAFOOT.

This compromised was indented to clear the way for Cameroon to participate in the Brazil tournament, and the Joseph Owona commission was set up well ahead of the World Cup were it was expected the house must have been put in order. Contrary to this expectation the Owona Commission kept dragging its feet until the World Cup came to pass, without FECAFOOT house having been put in order.

And Professor Joseph Owona, standing for FECAFOOT, and virtually managing the affairs of FECAFOOT throughout the tournament duration. He and the minister of Sports led the destabilized Lions to Brazil and what transpired in Brazil was certainly not the best for a country that believes in honesty, transparency and good Governance. Certainly not people who love their country.

Several months after the Brazil world cup, elections were scheduled to be held on the 29, November. 2014. But a new dimension was added to an already disturbing stalemate. The new dimension was that the Cameroonian authorities succeeded to convince FIFA that there is concern over security ahead of the election.

We consider this as a lame excuse indeed. The state of Cameroon has all the means at their disposal to contain security challenges. The state has done it before on wider National concerns that would have otherwise shaken the very foundation of the state.

Secondly, if there are any security concerns at all, either real or imagined, they can only be traced to the very normalization Committee, which has tended to bend the rules. Professor Joseph Owona and the current Sport Minister, Adoum Garoua took some time off to travel to FIFA Head quarters in Switzerland, to outline their concern about the elections and convince FIFA to postpone the elections.

Their main concern however is over possible violence, which they were able to detect only at the dying minute, whereas, with all the time in their hands since the Committee was set up by FIFA, they were unable to foresee any likely violence.

Perhaps, for the sake of fair play, FIFA was willing to listen and at the end authorized a postponement on condition that all the Candidates who indicated their interest in the November 29 elections, but were disqualified, be reinstated.

We think FIFA was right, because many Cameroonians were beginning to ask how these candidates could have provoked violence if the elections were free and fare?

What actually could have provoked the violence is the fact that, Tombi .A. Roko Sidiki the current secretary general of Joseph Owona’s normalization committee had prepared their mind for Sidiki.

We congratulate FIFA for their wisdom, that Sidiki should face the other candidates, who include such names as Joseph Antoine Bell, Robert Penne, Attah Robert Bahazah, Jules Nyongha, and Mebande Bridgitte.

We have been saying it all along, that Cameroon football is sick, but while the virus has been diagnosed on the pitch, with Folker Finke changing the pace on the ground, there is still a problem in the Board Room of FECAFOOT. We want to believe that the Owona commission has not helped the situation enough. It has created the problem.

FIFA’s postponement is therefore a ray of hope for the future of FECAFOOT. Cameroonians are watching.

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