Cameroon Footballers Refuse To Board Plane To Egypt For AFCON Tournament (See Reasons)
The Indomitable Lions justified their standoff in an open letter to the public on Friday
According to Caf rules, Cameroon players ought to have arrived in Egypt early Friday, which is five days before their first match at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations which kicks off later today.
However, the cup holders are still at a hotel in their country’s capital Yaounde waiting for more money.
They are protesting the bonuses offered to them by the government. They are demanding 40 million francs (€61,000) each, whereas the authorities say they can’t pay more 20 million francs (€30,500), which has been wired to their respective bank accounts.
The team had their sendoff ceremony at the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium on Thursday evening and were to depart for the airport but chose to go their Mont Febe hotel, according to state television CRTV.
Mediations from the Football Federation (Fecafoot), Sport Minister and other state dignitaries including legend Samuel Eto’o failed.
In an open letter to the general public, the players explained that:
1) Most of us paid fully or partially our air tickets from our clubs to the team’s camp for the Afcon preparations.
2) During camping in Madrid and Doha, no player, among the final 23 or the excluded 14, was paid participation premium.
3) Our camping in Doha, our trip to Yaounde and the eventual trip to Cairo were all sponsored by Qatar.
4) A presidential decree dating back to 2014 states that all bonuses, participation fees for friendly matches and camping must be paid to the players before the start of a major tournament like the Afcon.
5) We have even accepted a 25% slash in our regular bonuses ahead of the upcoming Afcon but unfortunately they are not honouring this.
6) We deplore the poor communication between the players and football officials of this country.
7) This disorganization led to the refusal of players like Joel Matip, Stephane Mbia and Nicolas Nkoulou to come to camp.
8) We wish that future generation of players would not suffer a similar disregard as us and those who preceded us.
Signed by ALL 23 players.