Cameroon top flight in turmoil after boycott

Cameroon top flight in turmoil after boycott

by Graeme Jackson

Monday Jan 28, 2019. 09:00

Cameroon’s 2019 Elite One (top flight) season has been thrown into disarray after teams boycotted the opening match in Yaounde.

Eding Sports and Yong Sports Academy were set to meet at the Yaounde Military Stadium on Saturday, but stayed away in response to a call from the syndicate of elite clubs (SYCEC).

The SYCEC is having a major dispute with the head of Cameroon's Professional Football League (LFPC) Pierre Semengue.

"In solidarity with the trade union of elite clubs, we wouldn't travel to Yaoundé to kick off the championship. The decision was taken solely in the interest of our football and in all integrity," Yong Sports chairman, Jacques Yong, said in a club statement.

"The decision has been taken because last minute attempts to solve the problems plaguing our elite football have failed," he added.

SYCEC, led by Union of Douala president Frank Happi, say they are unhappy with how league football is managed in Cameroon.

"It's outrageous to imagine that the league president wants the first and second division tournaments to start when clubs aren't aware of the amount they will receive as subvention," Happi told BBC Sport.

"Clubs weren't sure when the championship was supposed to start and so most of them kept their teams together, paying out training bonuses regularly.

"It's only fair for them to know how much they will get before stepping on the pitch. The teams are ready and want to play football but everything isn't right for the league to start.

"Most of the country's top stadiums are being renovated or constructed and the question as to where games will be staged has remained unanswered.

"These uncertainties make us think it's not reasonable starting the championship now," said Happi.

The dispute centres around a lack of consultation over key decisions taken by 83-year-old LFPC boss Pierre Semengue, including increasing the championship from 18 to 20 clubs and splitting the league into a two-pool tournament where only one outfit would be relegated.

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