By Basil K Mbuye
Football stakeholders in the Southwest Region met at the Southwest FECAFOOT premises on December 6 to brainstorm ahead of the new season which is to kick-start in January 2020.
The stakeholders, comprising Team Presidents, Team Managers, Coaches and journalists, football fans and other participants held a question and answer session as they discussed what can be done to better football in the Region.
They pointed out some of the ingredients missing in the region’s football as the king sport continues to dwindle in the Region.
Among these, the participants decried the fact that there is a lack of unity among clubs which is a great hindrance to success in the Region. This, they believe, is one of the reasons the Region has failed to pick a League Two ticket for close to seven years.
The session, conducted by the Secretary-General of the Southwest FECAFOOT, Sylvester Esowe Muambo, saw some proposals put forth by the Regional Bureau, rejected by some clubs. A proposal like the new system of the league that will see teams in the various towns playing only in their towns, was rejected by some clubs.
According to these clubs, such a system will kill the touristic part of football as players need to travel to other parts of the Region. They also argued that such a system will make the league look more like an inter-quarter competition and will also see the number of games played by a club narrowed down in a season to just four games for some clubs.
Reacting to this, the Secretary-General of the Southwest FECAFOOT, Esowe Muambo, said he will channel the proposals of the clubs to the Executive Council of the Regional Bureau.
Meanwhile, the good news welcomed by the clubs was that of the decentralisation of the licence system. Clubs will now have their licences produced in the Region of origin, no matter the championship the club is playing in. Clubs in League One, Two and those in the Regional Leagues will have their licences printed in their Regions and not in Yaounde as it was in the past.
It was also disclosed that the Regional League will start in January 2020 and end on May 30. Meanwhile, the Cup of Cameroon at the regional levels will start from January 8, 2020, while the national preliminary round will start from January 31, 2020. The National Interpools will take place from June 27 to July 12, 2020.
Speaking after the session, Best Stars Coach, Djoufack Saturnin, applauded the initiative and urged the Southwest FECAFOOT Bureau to organise many of such sessions.
“It was a wonderful session and I think the bureau should organise more of this as it helps stakeholders to share ideas and also foster unity which is missing,” Saturnin said.
He was corroborated by Jonathan Mutia Batambu of Mount Cameroon FC, who also added that such sessions also create a good relationship between the federation and the clubs.