By Basil K Mbuye
Since taking over office in September 2017, after FIFA declared the Tombi-led FECAFOOT team as illegal occupants, the newly installed FECAFOOT Normalisation Committee has come under serious criticisms lately.
When they first took over office, many celebrated for they believed it was an opportunity for Cameroon football to undergo changes. The timing too was also a good one since the Indomitable Lions had failed to pick a qualification ticket for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
However, the emotions that welcomed their coming is not still the same today after a number of decisions taken by the Normalisation Committee. Some observers have even gone as far as saying that the committee might be out to settle scores and not to normalise the country’s football that seriously needs adjustment.
The Post takes a look at some of the decisions that have been taken by the Normalisation Committee which has been received with mix feelings.
Their decision to bring back the 2009 FECAFOOT team to manage the Regional affairs of the FECAFOOT came under serious scrutiny. This is because many saw it as mafia, since those who were to manage football at the Regional level could still stand for election since they were not normalisation members. Also, the decision meant that the normalisation activities were felt only at the national level, since that was the only level with normalisation members. A fixed date was not set for the mandate of these teams reinstalled at the Regional level to end. Till date, the ten regions of Cameroon do not have normalisation members.
Also, after the leaked document that revealed plans by the country’s football authorities (FECAFOOT Normalisation Committee) to sack Indomitable Lions Coach, Hugo Broos, the Minister who has the power to do so, is yet to sign the Belgian’s dismissal letter. Almost two weeks since the letter leaked, the Minister of Sports, Pierre Ismael Bidoung Mkpart, is yet to react on the issue. Football pundits are raising questions if the two are working together. The Belgian-born tactician described the situation as “a soap”.
“I’m waiting now, this is something that is not serious, it’s something to laugh [at], it’s a soap, what happens now in Cameroon.” Broos told BBC.
The recent decision by the Normalisation Committee to cancel all Regional and Divisional Championships of the 2016/2017 football season seems to be a knockout punch that will make the committee a curse to Cameroonian football. Observers are asking why the committee didn’t give these Regional leagues a deadline to present their champions. Also, what becomes of the 2009 executive that was put in place to manage Regional football activities? Which clubs will replace teams that dropped from the MTN Elite Two during the 2016/2017 season? Will Regional League clubs that have spent millions to take part in the championship be compensated?
These questions and many more have been asked by Cameroonians since the news of the cancellation of the Regional championships was made public on Monday, December 11. Presidents of Regional League clubs from other Regions in Cameroon were not part of the meeting that saw the decision to cancel the league taken, since the meeting took place but in Yaounde.
One of the reasons given by the Normalisation Committee for the cancellation of the Regional and Divisional leagues was that it was managed by an illegal executive. Thus, one may ask why CAF and FIFA elections have not been cancelled since Tombi A Roko took part in the voting of these Presidents.
However, put in place to run FECAFOOT’s daily affairs, draft new statutes and organise elections for a new executive committee by the end of February 28, 2018, it will not be a surprise if the mandate of the Normalisation Committee is extended just like it was in the past when the country’s football was managed by a Normalisation Committee.
The way things are going, some pundits now think that the Normalisation Committee headed by Barrister Dieudonne Happi Yamdje might turn out to be a curse Cameroon football.