With the opening of the Confederations Cup tournament in Russia just nine days away, FIFA have received a letter from a Cameroon club claiming that the African team competing in Russia is not the country’s ‘legal’ representative at the tournament, and should not be recognised by the world governing body as such.
The letter, sent to FIFA president Gianni Infantino by Abdouraman Hamadou Babba, president of the Etoile Filante de Garoua club, says that FIFA has breaking its own statutes and refusing to accept the ruling of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in November 2015 by recognising Tombi A Roko Sidiki as the Cameroon FA (FECAFOOT) president.
“All documents signed by Mr Tombi A Roko in the capacity of President of FECAFOOT are null and void.
FIFA is therefore supposed not and should not recognize the appointment of Mr Hugo Broos as Head Coach of Cameroon by Mr Tombi A Roko, a ‘falsus procurator’,” says the letter.
“Mr President, in this matter, Cameroonians have the impression that they are watching a football game which has no rules, in which a player is red carded, but continues to play on and even score goals which are validated by the referee.
It is therefore something else, not a game of football as defined in organized football.
“We are flabbergasted to notice that in Cameroon, FIFA has violated and continues to violate its own very Statutes and betray all its values.”
The position taken by Étoile is supported by a number of other clubs who for some time have lobbied against Tombi following the ruling by CAS that should have, following the rule of sports law, nullified his election and presidency but which FIFA has ignored to date.
Tombi is not without some club support in Cameroon but privately clubs have told Insideworldfootball that this is because they fear reprisals from Tombi and FIFA.
Chief among the fears is being kicked out of championships for standing against Tombi’s rule.
They also claim that Tombi has bought some club support with grant money but that behind Tombi’s back they support Étoile.
“According to FIFA regulations, only teams representing member associations may participate in this competition.
Yet the team that will be presented by Mr Hugo Broos, himself appointed by Mr Tombi A Roko, cannot claim to represent FECAFOOT. Such a team can only represent Mr Tombi A Roko as a physical person.
It will therefore not be the INDOMITABLE LIONS of CAMEROON, but the Indomitable Lions of Mr Tombi A Roko that will be participating in this major FIFA competition,” said the Étoile letter.
Cameroon, or at least a team of players qualified for the country, play their first match in the Confederations Cup on June 18 against Chile.