Picture : Ivorian legend, Didier Drogba has congratulated Egyptian icon, Mohamed Salah after the latter tallied 107 goals (Africa Record in Premier League) !

Although ready for AFCON hosting, Cameroon beset by Federation infighting.

The infighting within the Cameroon Football Federation, FECAFOOT which was thought to have been resolved has resurfaced with one faction deciding to sue the African Football  Confederation at the Court of Arbitration for Sport over what it terms as gross violation of its own texts. CAF recently signed the Host Association Agreement, commonly called ‘Accord Cadre' which confirms ultimate hosting of the TotalEnergies CAF African Cup of Nations Cameroon 2021. But the rival faction which also recently elected its Provisional Executive Committee, based on the texts of FECAFOOT, CAF and FIFA declared the exercise null and void, as it was signed on behalf of the federation by its interim president, Mbombo Njoya, after CAS and FIFA had cancelled the elections that made him president earlier this year.

Briefly put, the trouble within the federation has its genesis back in 2009. That year, attempts to trample on the texts following the incarceration of its president, Vincent Onana had caused so much discontent until a combined CAF/FIFA mission to Yaounde succeeded in setting up a legal General Assembly with previously vice president, Iya Mohamed being voted as the new man in charge. But just before the end of his first mandate in 2013, Iya was incarcerated in connection with his management of the cotton-production company, Sodecoton. In such circumstances, his deputy, John Ndeh should have stepped in to carry the mandate to the next elections,  but an unexplained external interference prevented that, spelling difficult times subsequently for Cameroon football management.

The standoff pitting proponents of legality and their opponents would be prolonged over the years, leading to the appointment of two different Normalisation Committees at the helm of FECAFOOT with each quitting after organising controversial elections that would yield short-lived executive committees. The latest of the excos was declared illegal by CAS and FIFA early this year and the latter asked to create a caretaker committee in view of elections. But FIFA rather preferred to appoint an interim body headed by an interim president, and charged with managing the day-to-day affairs of FECAFOOT. One other assignment they had was to organize elections from the basic organs to the national level. But when they announced the schedules for the elections the Chamber of Conciliation and Arbitration of the Cameroon National Olympic and Sports Committee, CCA ruled that they did not have the legal standing to do so.

A quorum of the 2009 General Assembly of FECAFOOT, in keeping with FIFA and CAF texts then met last Tuesday, 26 October and, armed with the CAS and CCA rulings, elected a Provisional Executive Committee which immediately swung into action. One of the decisions taken was to sue CAF at CAS for engaging in matters touching on the country's sovereignty with ‘an illegitimate president'.

TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup qualifiers set for 28 November and 5 December.

The draw to determine the 16 teams for the group phase of the tournament made yesterday at CAF headquarters in Cairo noted that the DR Congo will be represented by 3 clubs, while 2 clubs will come from each of the following countries: Zambia, Mali, South Africa, Kenya, Algeria, Nigeria, and Egypt.  One of Libya and Tanzania will also be represented by 2 clubs, depending on the outcome of the  litigation between Ahly Tripoli and Biashara United. The other countries engaged in the competition will feature a club each during the two-legged qualifying games of 28 November and 5 December to produce 16 qualifiers for the group phase. 

Here is how the teams were drawn last Tuesday, 26 October 2021:

Zanaco FC(Zambia)/Binga FC(Mali); Simba SC(Tanzania)/Red Arrows FC(Zambia); TP Mazembe(DRC)/Marumo Gallants(South Africa); ASEC Mimosas(Ivory Coast)/GD Interclube(Angola); Nouadhibou(Mauritania)/Cotonsport(Cameroon); US Gendarmerie Nationale(Niger)/DC Motema Pembe(DRC); AS Otoho(Congo)/Gor Mahia(Kenya); APR(Rwanda)/RS Berkane(Morocco); Tusker FC(Kenya)/CS Sfaxien(Tunisia); Hearts of Oak(Ghana)/JS Saoura(Algeria); Rivers United(Nigeria)/Al Masry(Egypt); Stade Malien(Mali)/Ahly Tripoli(Libya)-Biashara United(Tanzania); Al Ittihad(Libya)/Enyimba FC(Nigeria); AS Maniema Union(DRC)/Pyramids(Egypt); LPRC Oilers(Liberia)/Orlando Pirates(South Africa); Royal Leopards(Eswatini)/JS Kabylie(Algeria).