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Cameroon Football Federation faces CAS intervention over staff dispute

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has been called upon to resolve the ongoing dispute within the Cameroonian Football Federation (Fécafoot) concerning the technical staff of the Indomitable Lions.

On Sunday, the Association of Amateur Football Clubs of Cameroon (ACFAC) announced its decision to take the matter to CAS.

ACFAC has raised concerns about the competence of the Chamber of Conciliation and Arbitration (CCA), alleging that the CCA violated Article 19, Paragraph 5 of its procedural regulations.

The cited article stipulates, “The time limit for seizing the Chamber for arbitration is thirty (30) days, under penalty of foreclosure, from the notification either of the report of non-conciliation, or of total or partial conciliation, resulting from the conciliation procedure before the Chamber of Conciliation and Arbitration.”

Temporary Suspension and Legal Disputes

On May 21, the CCA granted ACFAC’s request by temporarily suspending the staff appointed by Fécafoot President Samuel Eto’o.

However, the CCA also instructed the complainant to file an urgent referral within 24 hours, which ACFAC claims is a violation of Article 96 of Law No. 2018/014, dated July 11, 2018.

This law pertains to the organization and promotion of physical and sporting activities in Cameroon.

In response, ACFAC, through Djiko FC, requested the CCA to declare itself incompetent to proceed with arbitration without the agreement of all parties involved.

The association’s Sunday press release stated, “As the law gives them the right, the ACFAC clubs have decided not to submit to the arbitration of the CCA and have therefore chosen the arbitration of the CAS, which will be seized from this Monday, May 27.”

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Implications for Fécafoot

The escalating dispute has significant implications for Fécafoot. The suspension of Eto’o’s appointed staff has been temporarily lifted due to the legal challenge.

In the meantime, Eto’o has issued a summons to players for the upcoming 2026 World Cup qualifiers, parallel to the summons issued by the Ministry of Sports.

This dual summons situation has added to the confusion and tension within Cameroonian football circles.

A Complex Legal Battle

The legal battle reflects broader tensions within Fécafoot and the governance of football in Cameroon.

The involvement of CAS, an internationally recognized arbitration body, underscores the severity of the dispute and the complexities involved in resolving it.

As the case progresses, all eyes will be on CAS and its ability to navigate the intricacies of Cameroonian sports law and federation regulations.

The outcome could set a significant precedent for how football governance disputes are managed in the region.

This unfolding drama within Fécafoot highlights the challenges facing sports administrations worldwide, where legal, regulatory, and governance issues often intersect, leading to high-stakes conflicts that demand resolution at the highest levels of arbitration.

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Ibrahim Sannie

Ibrahim Sannie

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