Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

9 January 2013

Cameroon: Bogus Administrative Apparatus

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Some clubs have outdated structures that are not recognised by football authorities.

The passage from amateurism to professionalism necessitated the streamlining of the bogus administration for greater efficiency and accountability. As such, clubs had to move from the sole proprietor businesses or associations they were to become companies with share-holders. Hence, organs such as 'the Council of Wise', supporters' clubs and family or tribal patronages had to disappear to make way for shareholders who constitute the general assembly and board of directors of the club. Though obsolete, some of these scrapped structures resist change and resort to trouble-making within club just to perpetrate the existence of the structures.

Such is the case with the so-called 'Council of Wise' which been hitting the headlines as they wrought trouble in some mythical clubs of Cameroon like Union, Canon Yaounde and Tonnerre Kalara Club. This organ is mostly made up of some influential members of the club, tribal nobilities or descendants of past managers of the club or former key players or administrators. The organ used to wield much power in the past as they could make and unmake the executive thereby causing the latter to be like a toy in the hands of the members of the council.

In this era of professionalism, this structure has been scrapped and no longer recognized by the Cameroon football federation. However, instead of buying shares from the company to gain a seat in board of directors and take part in the decision making process of the club, some so-called members of the council of the wise try to hijack the club. Supporters clubs used to be organised with elected executive members and was equally very powerful in past capable influencing the appointment or dismissal of coaches. But in this dispensation of professionalism, this structure is no longer recognised and has no say in the running of the club affairs. Recognised members are only those who buy shares.

Though not an institution as such, tribal notables, former managers of the clubs or their descendants, were given a great say in the running of the club which they considered as their heritage. Such is the case with Tonnerre where the son of one of the founders of the club, Omgba Nsi tried unsuccessfully to reclaim the claim. However, FECAFOOT has been categorical that these instances are no longer recognised.

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