Non-payment of players salaries and disrespect of contract terms, has been a major blow to the growth of local Football in Cameroon for the past few years. In the just ended Football season, the Syndicate of professional Footballers of Cameroon, SYNAFOC, which is a sub branch of FIFPRO, was at loggers head with majority of the elite clubs in the country.
The recurrence of this clubs versus players clash on salaries, bonuses and sign on fees, seems to have got the Football authorities in the country worried, especially with the recent moves taken by SYNAFOC, by reporting these unscrupulous clubs, to the world’s Football Governing body, FIFA.
As a means to fight this ill, the Cameroon Football federation is envisaging the introduction of club licensing system, where only clubs who meet up all the requirements, will be eligible to take part in FECAFOOT affiliated competitions.
This was disclosed during FECAFOOT’s extraordinary general assembly, in yaounde, by the federations boss, Seidou Mbombo Njoya. “As far as clubs are concerned, our program is to put in place a club licensing system”, said Njoya. “Only clubs who will respond to the stated requirements, will be eligible to participate in FECAFOOT competitions”.
He added that FECAFOOT will organise seminars, which are aimed at accompanying these clubs to modernization, but thinks the licensing system will help solve the long standing problem of non-payment of salaries. “These dispositions will help in solving the problems faced by the clubs, such as payment of salaries of players and the coaching staff”.
Following the interventions of SYNAFOC, FIFPro, and FIFA on the non-payment of players salaries in Cameroon, an ad doc committee was created to propose solutions. The results of the commission are not yet known, for reasons they attributed to the non collaboration of certain clubs.
Seidou Mbombo Njoya thinks the biggest beneficiaries of the club licensing system, will be the players. “We will launch in the next few days, the convention with the national social insurance fund, and FECAFOOT, for the protection of players and all the football actors. All these actions are aimed at putting the players in the best conditions, to produce a good spectacle, which will Contribute in bringing many spectators to the stadia”. Added Njoya.
Club licensing was first introduced in 2004, as a set of criteria to be fulfilled in order for clubs to be eligible to participate in UEFA club competitions.
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Many pundits believe that the club licensing system, will help tackle many of the commonly cited problems that exist in Cameroon football, such as financial transparency and instability, inadequate stadia, overdue payables, and lack of youth investment.