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FECAFOOT publishes final lists of players for 2024 Elite playoffs

534 Elite One players and 389 others from the Elite Two, have been retained for the 2024 MTN Elite playoffs. The Cameroon Football Federation published the lists on March 18. The FA noted that 'players whose supporting documents were not admissible as well as those who did not submit to the justification procedure, have been provisionally suspended from the MTN Elite 2024 Playoffs pending clarification of their situation by the relevant authorities'. A total of 104 team officials in the Elite One and 65 in the Elite Two were equally retained. Based on article 53.5 of the Elite championship regulations, FECAFOOT pointed out that no further complaints on player eligibility will be accepted during the playoffs. The kick-off postponed from March 15, will take place on Friday, March 22, 2024. Nathan Doualla of Victoria United, who was at the center of the double identity crisis investigated by FECAFOOT, will participate in the playoffs. His contested age, 17, was maintained. Source: Cameroon News Agency

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YOSA: Players threaten to boycott playoffs over non-payment of salaries

Yong Sports Academy Bamenda have said their players are threatening to boycott the 2024 Elite One playoffs over the non-payment of salaries. The club made the revelation in a letter written to the Cameroon Football Federation on March 15, demanding the payment of subventions this season. YOSA said they have not received any payment since the start of the current season. The club pointed out that the only financing they received this season, was the fourth installment of last year's subventions. The club added that it has succeeded to pay just two months of players' salaries in the 2023-2024 season. The North West side is among 15 clubs whose players were temporarily suspended by FECAFOOT for double identity. The Cameroon FA has a pile of outstanding problems to resolve before the start of the playoffs. The kick-off of the tournament was postponed from March 15 to March 22, 2024. Source: Cameroon News Agency

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Sports

YOSA: Players threaten to boycott playoffs over non-payment of salaries

Yong Sports Academy Bamenda have said their players are threatening to boycott the 2024 Elite One playoffs over the non-payment of salaries. The club made the revelation in a letter written to the Cameroon Football Federation on March 15, demanding the payment of subventions this season. YOSA said they have not received any payment since the start of the current season. The club pointed out that the only financing they received this season, was the fourth installment of last year's subventions. The club added that it has succeeded to pay just two months of players' salaries in the 2023-2024 season. The North West side is among 15 clubs whose players were temporarily suspended by FECAFOOT for double identity. The Cameroon FA has a pile of outstanding problems to resolve before the start of the playoffs. The kick-off of the tournament was postponed from March 15 to March 22, 2024. Source: Cameroon News Agency

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Rigobert Song takes legal action against two journalists for calling his coaching diploma ‘fake’

Former coach of the Indomitable Lions Rigobert Song has filed a law suit against two journalists Theophile Awana and Pinon Omgba, for saying he possesses a fake coaching certificate. The remarks were made on a televised programme on Canal 2 International in February, and the coach reacted, promising to file a complaint against the individuals. The media men have been summoned to appear before the court of first instance in Yaounde on Tuesday, March 19. The communique signed by Song's lawyer, barrister Bayebec, indicated that the claims by the journalists are 'unfounded'. It added that the statements were 'not only to harm the image of Mr. Song Bahanag Rigobert, but also and especially his honorability'. Rigobert Song parted ways with the Indomitable Lions as head coach after his contract ended on February 29. The Cameroon government through the Minister of Sports, Narcisse Mouelle Kombi and the Cameroon Football Federation, said the coach's contract could not be renewed due to insufficient results. His exit came after the Lions crashed out of the AFCON 2023 in Cote d'Ivoire in the round of 16. Source: Cameroon News Agency

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Francis Ngannou’s revelation of unwellness before encounter with Joshua sparks controversy

By Charity Nginyu Former UFC World Heavyweight Champion and mixed martial artist, Francis Ngannou, has ignited a contentious debate after opening up about his health struggles before his fight with Anthony Joshua. The Cameroonian Champion encountered the British boxer in a Ten-round boxing match in which he was beaten in round Two, on March 9th, 2024, in Saudi Arabia. 'It's true that everything didn't go as planned. The battle itself didn't go as planned since already, it was a very weird day… The whole day I wasn't there. I arrived at about 11 pm and I had to start the fight at about 3 am. I can recall, while exercising, I was sweating and feeling sleepy,' Ngannou disclosed in a recent outing. The controversy surrounding Ngannou's revelation stems from conflicting interpretations. Some speculate that Ngannou's subpar performance may have been attributed to external factors, suggesting the possibility of drugging. However, others argue that Ngannou should accept his defeat gracefully and refrain from pub lic commentary, dismissing his outing as unnecessary. Ngannou, who began his journey into boxing in October 2023, has so far faced two of the top three heavyweights in the world, including a match against Tyson Fury on Oct 29th, 2023. The debate has had opinions divided on whether Ngannou's disclosure sheds light on potential foul play or simply serves as an excuse for his loss. Source: Cameroon News Agency

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European clubs not accepting African players above 23 years reason for age fraud – Ernest Obama

The spokesperson of the Cameroon Football Federation, Ernest Obama, has said the desire to play in Europe is one of the major factors behind age manipulation in Cameroon. In an interview with French newspaper L'Equipe, Obama said a player who is not detected at a young age, is likely to modify their birthdate. 'For a player who was not detected early due to the absence of youth championships, he gets to the first division at 24, 25, 26 years, and that's already too late for him' the former Vision 4 journalist highlighted. He further indicated that the current FECAFOOT administration is engaged in an intensive verification of birth certificates of Cameroon footballers. 'It was noticed after Samuel Eto'o arrived in 2021 that over 60 percent of players in the Elite One and Two had manipulated their ages' Ernest Obama noted. Over 60 players were provisionally excluded from the 2024 Elite One playoffs and are awaiting the final verdict before the competition begins on March 16. The FA official indicated that g uilty players will be automatically suspended for 6 matches and will be obliged to use their real ages. Source: Cameroon News Agency

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Synafoc calls for postponement of playoffs over age fraud allegations

By Biwah Bryan Following several age fraud allegations in the Elite one and two championships in Cameroon, the Cameroon footballer's Syndicate SYNAFOC in a communique called for a postponement of the playoffs, so that a thorough investigation into the claims can be conducted. The allegations of age fraud have implicated 15 out of the 19 clubs in Elite One championship including about 62 players in the top tier league which may hamper the flow of the competition. According to SYNAFOC the playoffs should have a 10-day delay in the start of the playoffs in order to ensure a comprehensive investigation into the allegations. The Syndicate also suggests a joint investigation commission consisting of players, club representatives, and law enforcement professionals should be established with a primary objective to identify those responsible The union believes that a comprehensive investigation will not only help to identify those responsible but also help to establish a fair and just solution, which will put an end to these fraudulent practices within the football ecosystem. Source: Cameroon News Agency

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Sports

Double identity ravaging Cameroon football?

A list of players from different clubs in the Elite One, have been exempted from participating in the 2024 playoffs of the championship due to double identity. Reports indicate that over 60 players from 15 clubs will have to file appeals for examination. The Elite One playoffs (Up and Down) are scheduled between March 16 and April 21, 2024, with 19 teams expected to participate. Victoria United are among the sides that sailed through to the playoffs up, after filing protests which had some clubs penalized for using players with double identity. In the case that pitted OPOPO against YOSA, the Yellow Submarines were accused of fielding six players with forged identification in their day 17 encounter on February 27, in Limbe. The number has, however, risen to 13 players in the recent verdict. Victoria United are affected as well, with seven players listed. This includes 17-year-old Wilfried Nathan Doualla, whose age sparked controversy during the AFCON 2023. A demanding 2024 Playoffs While fans hope to se e the football season end without an abrupt interruption, club presidents on the one hand and the federation on the other hand, have been very exigent towards each other. All clubs retained for the playoffs are considered to have met required conditions set by FECAFOOT, which has gone further to identify some of the clubs for age fraud and double identity. Going by the recent meetings held by the Cameroon Association of Elite Clubs (ACEC), the federation also had it's own obligations which were not being respected. Clubs under ACEC threatened to withdraw from the playoffs if their subventions, stadium benefits and 2022/2023 Ballon d'Or payment among other claims, were not met. A meeting was held on Saturday, March 9, after which both parties finally reached an agreement. The playoffs will determine this year's winner of the championship, teams that will participate in CAF competitions, and the ones that will be relegated to the inferior league. Source: Cameroon News Agency