By Basil K Mbuye
The Cameroon Football Federation, FECAFOOT, on Friday, April 17 announced that they will be offering a special financial package to players and coaches of top-flight leagues in the country.
The press release signed by the body’s Secretary-General, Benjamin Didier Banlock reads: “After a careful evaluation, FECAFOOT in collaboration with the Cameroon Transitional Technical Committee and the Cameroon Women’s Football League have decided to offer special support to 25 players and staff of each of the Elite One and Two clubs plus 20 players and staff of each of the clubs in the Women’s League”.
Going by this, a total of 1040 personnel will benefit from the kind gesture. Arguably, it is a fine move at combating the spread of the COVID 19 pandemic which has seen Cameroon amongst the top African countries with high positive cases. In accordance with the fight against the pandemic, FECAFOOT had suspended the various championships.
What becomes of players and coaches in the Regional Leagues that is also registered under FECAFOOT? What will be the amount given to each of these players and coaches? In a club of more than 25 players, what becomes of the fate of the others? These questions and many more are some of the questions observers are yet to get an answer to.
However, some observers hold that the initiative is not enough when compared to that taken by the football federations of other African countries.
In Tunisia, the Tunisian Football Federation, FTF, has strived to put most of its valuable resources to help the country combat the new epidemic. The FTF has put five of its buses at the disposal of the Ministry of Transportation, donated $34600 to the Ministry Of Health in form of equipment, has put two of its biggest training facilities to be used as isolation centres and will also pay the salaries of health personnel to work there.
They have also created masks which will be distributed for free. FTF also made available FCFA 20 million (100,000 dinars) to provide the Borj Cedria and Ain Draham centres with medical supplies, provide 700 families with staple food amongst others.
The Ghana Football Federation, GFA, has made its national teams’ training facility in Prampram available as a COVID 19 isolation centre.
In Morocco, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation in cooperation with its professional and regional leagues, and women’s football bodies donated the sum of FCFA 590 million (10 million dirhams) to fight COVID 19. Some clubs also announced donations to the solidarity fund.
Also, the Algerian Football Federation, FAF, has placed all its financial and human resources at the disposal of the Algerian authorities in the fight against COVID-19. FAF also offers its technical training centre in Sidi Moussa at the disposal of the government which could be used as a quarantine centre when works there are completed.
Meanwhile the Nigerian Football Federation, NFF, through its president Amaju Pinnick, recently said the NFF will be supporting the government in the fight against this pandemic by providing food items including tubers of yams.
Out of the African continent, the national team bus in Peru, La Roja’s team hotel in Spain, the national team’s training centre in Italy and the national federation’s headquarters in Argentina have all been made available by respective federations to help deal with the crisis.