Kila Jisi

The football and sporting season in 2013 was full of drama that transported the action from the field to the offices and streets and drinking spots.

Nevertheless, the highly tensed moments were spiced by the Indomitable Lions qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Cameroon was absent from the 2013 African Nations Cup in January, in South Africa, eliminated by Cape Verde.

The drama that animated most part of the football season started when the Cameroon Football Federation, Fecafoot, made public its election calendar.

The launch of Fecafoot regional elections was greeted with protests and eventual fights. The electoral process was highly criticised by former footballers such as Joseph Antoine Bell and Eugene Ekeke.

They said if article 4 was maintained elections were not to be free and fair. Had Iya Mohammed withdrawn as presidential candidate, the situation would have been different today. But instead he allowed the members of Fecafoot general assembly to acclaim him as the president.

With public opinion against Iya as the cause of the lions problems the mention of his name at certain quarters ignited heated debates.

Adoum Garoua suspended the elections in a highly controversial move on 26 March, saying the poll would not be held until a consultation exercise initiated by his office had run its course. This was considered as interference in the federation’s affairs.

Despite criticisms and protests, elections of the Littoral and South regional leagues transported to Yaoundé because of conflicts. It was in such a tensed atmosphere that the federal elections were set for May 24.

Fecafoot Elections:
Elections started in the regions and on May 24, the elective general assembly at the Fecafoot, was suspended by the Prime Minister for “security reasons”.

Meanwhile, there were already rumours about the imminent arrest of Iya Mohammed after initial allegations that his passport had been seized.

The 2-0 defeat the Lions suffered in Togo was bad for Iya Mohammed who was arrested a day after the game.

Rescheduled for June 11 the elections were postponed to June 19. With Iya locked up John Begheni Ndeh declared self the logical president. The federation was divided into camps the Iya camp and JB Ndeh Essomaba Eyenga camp entered into disputes and conflicts of interests.

Finally when elections held, Iya though in prison won following the list system and Seidou Mbombo Njoya acted for time before resigning to pressure from some quarters.

Within this background of chaos, Fifa suspended Cameroon though awarded them three points as Togo fielded an illegal player.

Fifa deemed that the state had an influence in the Fecefoot elections, the reason for the suspension.

Normalisation Committee installed On July 22
As precondition to lift the ban, Cameroon had to appoint and install a normalisation committee. The Committee was charged with running the daily affairs of the Fecafoot, revise the statutes and conduct elections by March 31 2014.

Volker Finke New Head Coach:
Football also witnessed drama when the country appointed a new coach, Volker Finke to take over from Jean Paul Akono in conditions not appreciated by many. Akono who is not yet paid salary for eight months at the helm of the Lions suffered a mild cardiac attack. Eto’o Fils and Mebeng Ngo’o assisted Akono to go for treatment in France.

Samuel Eto’o False Retirement
Samuel Eto’o in one of his notice seeking tactics after the 1-0 defeat against Libya on September 8 announced his retirement from international football, but, this was short-lived as the Chelsea player made an about turn on the decision and played for Cameroon to qualify for the World Cup on November 17.

Yosa Wins Cup, Loses President
The year ended on a good and bad note for Yong Sport Academy. The Club from the Northwest won their first Cup of Cameroon title and a week later lost their founding father, Francis Yong.

The local championship was also marked by conflicts between Elite Club Presidents and the President of the Professional Football League, Pierre Semengue. A Normalisation Committee was put in place to run the league when Semengue’s mandate expired.

Though football had most of the drama, the year 2013 was tensed for sporting federations with the election of presidents for the new Olympiad.

Expectations in 2014 are for the lions to go farther than their 1990 performance with preparatory matches billed against Portugal, Germany and Argentina in 2014.

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