by Fred Vubem Toh ~ CT
Government has finally disbursed the second and third instalments of subventions promised football clubs in order to kick-start the Professional League in Cameroon. The information was confirmed by the President of the Professional League, General Pierre Semengue who disclosed that the money will be paid out to clubs today. The disbursement of the subvention paves the way for the resumption of the MTN Elite One and Elite Two championships this weekend given that the club president had posed the payment of the money as a pre-condition for them to resume competition.
The subventions worth some FCFA 365 million will be distributed to the clubs as follows; MTN Elite One clubs will each receive FCFA 15 million while the Elite Two clubs will also bag home the sum of FCFA 10 million each. The resumption of the MTN Elite One championship had been scheduled for July 7th and July 6th for the MTN Elite Two during the board meeting of the professional League on June 22nd. The decision was endorsed by the club presidents the next day during the general assembly meeting of the League on condition that the money was paid before schedule.
According to the president of the temporary committee for the management of clubs, Zibi Onambele, the club presidents are ready to resume competition on the appointed date on condition that the Professional League distributes the money on time.
Officials of the Professional League and club presidents had been at daggers drawn over the subventions with the Professional League in favour of the resumption of the championships while awaiting the payment of the money whereas club presidents wanted the money paid first before they could go down the pitch of play. The deadlock was only broken by the Prime Minister after a meeting with the club presidents, during which the head of government promised the speedy payment of the subventions. The disbursement of the subvention marks the fulfilment of that promise.
With the issue of subvention over, the other question now is about the quality of play during the second and most decisive phase of the MTN Elite One and Elite Two championships given that both championships have been on recess for over two months. Only clubs involved in the Cup of Cameroon are likely to be fit for competition as matches counting for the 16th, 8th and away leg quarter-finals took place during this period.