Samuel Eto’o-led FECAFOOT rejects new Cameroon coach appointed by country’s Sports Minister

Newly-appointed Cameroon coach Marc Brys who is the subject of a tussle between FECAFOOT and Sports Ministry.

Samuel Eto’o-led FECAFOOT rejects new Cameroon coach appointed by country’s Sports Minister

Joel Omotto 10:51 - 04.04.2024

Tension is simmering in Cameroon after the country’s football federation, FECAFOOT, led by legendary Samuel Eto’o, rejected the newly-appointed Indomitable Lions coach.

Tensions have arisen between Cameroon's football federation (FECAFOOT) and the country's Sports Ministry following the surprise announcement of Marc Brys as the new coach for the national team, the Indomitable Lions.

The announcement, made by Sports Minister Narcisse Mouelle Kombi, caught FECAFOOT off guard, sparking concerns over potential conflicts and repercussions for one of Africa's footballing powerhouses.

In a statement released on Wednesday, FECAFOOT expressed its astonishment at the unilateral decision, stating, "The Cameroonian Football Federation has learned, at the same time as all Cameroonians, the appointment to positions of responsibility for the national senior men's football team. FECAFOOT expresses its great surprise at this act."

The federation emphasised its commitment to seeking clarification on the matter and addressing what it deemed a regrettable situation.

“The national federation cannot recognise these appointments made outside any legal and regulatory framework. In absolute terms, FECAFOOT cannot be a party to this act devoid of any legal basis and cannot compromise with supranational regulations and, even less, with the legal and regulatory provisions in force in our country,” added the federation.

Traditionally, football federations appoint and compensate their coaches. However, in some African countries, including Cameroon, government intervention occurs, particularly when federations face financial constraints.

FECAFOOT, led by former African Footballer of the Year Samuel Eto’o, has been navigating a delicate balance between asserting independence and respecting governmental influence, given the significant priority placed on matters concerning the national football team.

The interference of governments in football federation affairs has historically led to sanctions from FIFA, with countries like Kenya and Zimbabwe facing bans until recently.

Given this precedent, FECAFOOT's reaction underscores the potential risks associated with external interference in football governance.

The appointment of Marc Brys, a Belgian coach with experience in various European clubs and Saudi Arabia, marks his debut as a national team coach.

While Brys' credentials are notable, the controversy surrounding his appointment highlights broader issues of governance and autonomy within African football.

As tensions simmer between FECAFOOT and the Sports Ministry, the footballing community awaits further developments, hoping for a resolution that respects the integrity of football governance in Cameroon.

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