4 December 2012

Cameroon: Sports Federation Elections Deferred

The Minister of Sports and Physical Education, Adoum Garoua on November 29 signed a circular postponing the holding of elections within sports federations to the months of January and February next year. According to the minister, the decision is to enable sports federations adapt their internal rules and regulations to the law of July 15th 2011 related to the organisation and promotion of sports and physical activities in Cameroon.

At present, only 20 per cent of sports federations have complied with the law and even among those who have complied, many do not respect the prescriptions of the law. Reiterating the criteria to govern the constitutional revision, the Minister's circular prohibited the accumulation of administrative functions within the Ministry of Sports and Physical Education and elective or executive positions within sports federation. However, it is unlikely this decision will be respected given that it is the second time the Ministry of Sports and Physical Education is taking the decision. In 2008, the former minister of Sports and Physical Education, Augustin Thierry Edjoa, took a similar decision which was never respected as every official of the ministry has a federation or occupies and elective or executive position within a sports federation.

The circular also prohibits the accumulation of the function of a federation president and that of president of a club within the federation. The Minister equally ordered the federations to adopt electoral codes that enable transparency and equity in elections. Sports federations are expressly required to inscribe a clause in their constitutions, recognising the National Olympic and Sports Committee as the only judicial organ competent to arbitrate problems within federations after exhausting all the means available within the federation.

As such, they were equally instructed to create organs within the federation in charge of managing conflicts. Federations also have to adhere to the fight against drug abuse or doping within the sports movement. Federations have up to December 31st, 2012 to deposit sample copies of their revised constitutions at the Ministry of Sports and Physical Education or else face the necessary disciplinary action.

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