BY AFESEH APONG
Sports writer kick442.com, Cameroon.
The Cameroon Football Federation, FECAFOOT, on Friday April 17, 2020 announced that they will offer a special support to 25 players and staff of each Elite one and Two club plus 20 players and staff of each women’s league club. This financial assistance from FECAFOOT, is to help players during this crisis period,as league’s have been suspended for over a month now.
Some 18 men’s topflight clubs, 14 second tier men’s clubs plus 12 women’s league teams will benefit from this largesse, meaning slightly over a thousand players and staff will benefit from the over 40 million package from the Cameroon FA.
Kick442.com sources later revealed that league one players will receive the sum of 50,000FCFA each, 30,000FCFA per player in the league two , and 25,000FCFA per player in the women’s league. The money it is understood, will be paid directly into the Orange Money accounts of the footballers whose names will be submitted at the FA by the clubs.
The major problem here is, most clubs in the Cameroon elite one and two, and the women’s league, have squads made up of more than 25 players. League one leaders, PWD of Bamenda for example, have used 31 players in their different match day squads in 28 league games this season. The major dilemma for the club officials, is selecting which players make up the 25 and 20 required by FECAFOOT, and using which criteria. Will it be based on performance for club this season, or the number of appearances made.
As many pundits applaud the Seidou Mbombo Njoya led bureau for their kind gesture, others holds that the method used by FECAFOOT is not the best, as many players will miss out of FECAFOOT’s offer.
“I don’t go with this, a club doesn’t have only 22 players and three technical staff, what happens to the other players? Those remaining players are a part of the team. That is why I don’t support the idea that money should be paid directly to the players. If there is 50000 X 25 which gives 1250000, this should be given for the whole club and FECAFOOT request receipts of money paid.
FECAFOOT should make the clubs responsible”, said a football analyst.
However, a player currently engaged with a Cameroon league two side whose name we chose not to mention, says FECAFOOT’s method is preferable, as some unscrupulous club presidents will collect the money and not hand to players. He said “My team is owing me five months salary and if that money touches the hands of our officials the players will never see it”
HOW FECAFOOT’S GESTURE CAN KILL TEAM SPIRIT
Many have asked the question, what becomes of the other players whose names will not feature on the list of 25 to benefit from FECAFOOT’s offer?. Will they feel like outcasts in their teams or as though they are not needed, given that no clear cut criteria was given on how to select who makes the list or not.
This player whose name we withhold, plays in the league one championship, and has been instrumental for his side for the past three seasons now, but is likely to miss the FECAFOOT’s special assistance, since his personal details were not asked by any club official, contrary to what happened to his teammates. He could not hide his frustration. “Nobody called me to get my details, meanwhile they told my teammates to create Orange Money accounts. That’s it, but no big deal because am no longer treated as a player of the team”.
With this tense atmosphere already existing within several clubs, it is time to rethink so that all players can have a taste of the offer. Some have proposed the idea of solidarity amongst teams, a situation wherein players who will receive the money, can willfully contribute a quota, to give to their teammates who missed out of the 25 man list. That’s exactly the idea that the coach of one of the league one sides (name withheld), has proposed to his players, that those whose names are on the list of beneficiaries, will contribute 6000FCFA each, to compensate their colleagues.
Whatsoever the case, FECAFOOT’s special assistance, is in no way the payment of salaries to the players, so clubs should endeavor to respect their financial agreements with their players. However, the Cameroon football federation should think of a better way of handling this situation, when next such a laudable initiative is up, so as to put a smile on the faces of all the players, as this approach present a chance of creating division within clubs.
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