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Monday May 27, 2024

Cameroon minister defends appointment of national coach

By Reuters
April 07, 2024
Cameroons Sports Minister Narcisse Mouelle Kombi speaks the press in Douala on January 29, 2022 during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. — AFP
Cameroon's Sports Minister Narcisse Mouelle Kombi speaks the press in Douala on January 29, 2022 during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. — AFP

YAOUNDE: Cameroon’s sports minister has written to the national football federation (FECAFOOT) to defend the appointment of a new national soccer team coach, after FECAFOOT expressed surprise the decision was taken without its input.

In the letter seen by Reuters, minister Narcisse Mouelle Kombi said the ministry had acted in accordance with national and international regulations when it appointed Belgian Marc Brys to take over as coach of the Indomitable Lions after the dismissal of Rigobert Song in February.

FECAFOOT on Wednesday said the ministry had appointed Brys unilaterally and vowed to seek an explanation for this “regrettable situation”.

Any dispute between the government and the federation risks a potential ban from international competition for the five-times African champions as world soccer’s governing body FIFA has strict rules against government interference in national federations.

In the letter, Kombi said his ministry’s appointment of coaching staff “in no way affects the autonomy of FECAFOOT and does not violate any of the ‘supranational regulations’.”

A spokesperson for the ministry confirmed the authenticity of the letter. FECAFOOT did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kombi’s letter also said the salaries requested by three candidates proposed by the federation ranged between 1.5 million euros ($1.6 million) and 2.5 million euros per year.

“These are excessive amounts never paid to any coach in the history of the Indomitable Lions,” Kombi said,