FIFA approves Cameroon’s participation at Confederations Cup

World football governing body, FIFA says Cameroon’s participation at the Confederations Cup in Russia this month is in order, in spite of complaints to the contrary.

A written submission from Cameroonian club Etoile Filante de Garoua argues that Cameroon’s football federation, FECAFOOT, as presently constituted has no authority to send a team to the tournament.

FIFA has however acknowledged that there are problems in Cameroon football administration, led by Tombi Sidiki, but insist no one should rock the boat for the time being.

It issued a statement which read: “FIFA is in contact with the football stakeholders in Cameroon to try and find a solution to the dispute that has been affecting the federation for some time.

“While discussions are ongoing to resolve these governance issues, football continues and the status of the national representative teams is not in question.’’

Cameroon was banned from global football in July 2013 before the establishment of a FIFA-sanctioned Normalisation Committee.

After elections were held in September 2015, Sidiki and his Executive Committee then assumed office.

But the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) subsequently backed a ruling made in Cameroon nullifying the polls.

Sidiki’s win was contested by several clubs, including Etoile Filante which claimed that the composition of the voting delegates was illegal.

The Chamber of Conciliation and Arbitration of the National Olympic Committee and Cameroonian Sport upheld that appeal in November 2015.

That ruling was ignored and Sidiki continued to run FECAFOOT with the full backing of FIFA.

Local club Etoile Filante took a case against FECAFOOT to CAS a month later.

Although the Swiss-based court declined to intervene in the matter, it confirmed November’s ruling by the chamber in Cameroon.

That response from CAS was communicated to both parties in February, but the situation remained unchanged.

In March, the Association of Amateur Football Clubs in Cameroon received a letter from FIFA.

It said Veron Mosengo-Omba, its Director of African and Caribbean Member Associations, would be discussing the issue with FECAFOOT.

That visit is due to take place in August having been postponed from June.

FIFA Confederations Cup, which is for national teams, begins on Saturday in Russia and will end on July 2.

Cameroon are taking part as Africa’s representatives, having emerged African champions in February at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Gabon.



Aisha JM