By Basil K Mbuye
The Cameroon Football Federation on Tuesday, May 11, announced the end of the season in the various championships as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
According to the decision, PWD of Bamendawere crowned Elite One champions, Astres of Douala emerged Elite Two Winners while and Louves Minproff were crowned winners of the Women’s League. Also, no team will be relegated from the various championships, while the Cup of Cameroon and the amateur leagues were all terminated.
The decision of the FECAFOOT in collaboration with the Cameroon Transitional Technical Committee, CTT, and the Cameroon Women’s Football League was received with mixed feelings.
As you might imagine, the decision to end the championships didn’t go down well with everybody.
PWD of Bamenda aka Abakwa Boys is the biggest winners in the decision.Four years ago, the Abakwa Boys made their return to Elite One after 14 years in the inferior leagues. Last season, they were almost relegated.
With six days of play remaining and with just a point ahead of second-place Coton Sport and two points ahead of third-place Colombe Sportive, more drama could have unfolded.
However, the decision saw PWD breaking the 58-year-old jinx to win the title for the first time. They are the second Anglophone club to win the championship after Tiko United FC in 2009.
Also, clubs in the Elite One championship that were battling relegation like Panthere, Avion, Tonnerre Kalara Club and Dragon have survived relegation thanks to the decision. It was the same case in the Women’s League, F.C Ebolowa, Renaissance women, Renaissance Athletic and AS Diamare that all survived relegation.
Another beneficiary of the decision is Foncha Street FC that recorded just three wins in 23 games with a winning percentage of 15 as they recorded 11 draws and nine defeats. AS Matelot of Douala also survived thanks to the mercy of the decision to end the championships.
PWD Bamenda and Coton Sports in the Elite One championship will represent Cameroon at the continental level while in the Elite Two, Les Astres and YAFOOT were promoted into Elite One.
Next season, Elite One football will have 20 clubs while Elite Two will drop to 12 clubs.
At the level of the top scorers in the championship, Leon Boyomo of PWD Bamendawon the Golden Boot after scoring 11 goals. He narrowly edged Alphonse Kevin Assiga who has 10 goals and a host of others with nine and eight goals.
At the level of Amateur football, in the Southwest Regional League, clubs like FUSSA, Dynamic FC that didn’t win a single game after the first round and were bound for relegation will be celebrating over the decision.
The decision won’t be a happy one for second and third place Coton Sports of Garoua and Colombe Sportive with 46 and 45 points respectively. Considering PWD of Bamenda’s limping form, there could have been a twist at the top with six games to go.
Struggling Coton Sport of Garoua could have won her 16th league title. Meanwhile, Colombe could have made history like to win her maiden championship.
The greatest losers of it all are the Regional Leagues clubs. Decisions taken in the FECAFOOT has always not considered the existence of these amateur championships because they are the foundation of the country’s championship. With millions already spent by these clubs, they benefited nothing from this decision.
The Southwest Regional League is one of the worst leagues hit by this decision. They will have to wait again for the next season to get an Elite club.
In 2017, the regional League against was dealt a blow when the Normalisation Committee cancelled the Regional Leagues with a vibrant Victoria United FC and Maumu Youth FC side to play the Mini Interpools side. Clubs in the region invested highly unlike in the past years to battle for the lone ticket for the National Interpools.
At the level of the Cup of Cameroon, it was yet again a blow to the Southwest region after they had three new clubs to fly the ticket of the region at the Cup Of Cameroon. Options SA, HO Academy FC and Istanbul FA of Buea were the three teams to make their maiden appearance in the Cup of Cameroon. However, they will need to wait again to do this.