5 June 2012

Cameroon: MTN elite - Reasons for Deadlock

Initially announced for the 26th and 27th of May, the second leg of the new look MTN elite One and Elite Two championships was postponed sine die following disagreements between club presidents and the embryonic Professional League on the one hand and the club presidents and the government on the other hand. The differences stemmed from a common cause, that is, the non disbursement of the second and third instalments of subventions promised first and second division clubs to help kick start the professional football league in Cameroon.

Officials of the Professional League were in favour of the resumption of the championships while awaiting the disbursement of the funds, the club president united under the canopy of the association of first and second division club presidents, ACPD, opted for boycott to force the hand of government. Angered by the stance of the club presidents, the president of the Professional League issued a communiqué not recognising the legitimacy of the association as he claimed to deal only with professional clubs and not amateurs. In response, ACPD was transformed to the temporary management committee of first and second division clubs of the Professional League.

However, the crux of the matter had to do with the management of finances destined for clubs by officials of the Professional League. For instance, the president of the Professional League, General Pierre Semengue was accused of running a bogus administration and not having handed the totality of the first instalment of subventions given by government to the clubs. This, coupled with the fact that his appointment did not go down well with the club presidents as they claim General Pierre Semengue was occupying a post that ought to have been occupied by a club president, sew discord between the club presidents and the president of the Professional League.

At the same time, some players and Professional League officials accuse the club presidents of not respecting the terms of the contract granting subventions to football clubs, saying nothing has changed in the plight of players though the money was meant to pay their salaries and those of coaches. Negotiations are ongoing but as of now, nothing has filtered about the exact date of resumption of the second phase of the MTN elite One and Elite Two championships.

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