19.4.04

Poor Old Cameroun

FIFA's disciplinary committee announced on Friday that Cameroun will be docked 6 points from their World Cup qualifying campaign(which also doubles as qualifying for the African Nations Cup), before it even starts on June the 6th, along with a fine of US$154,000 as punishment for Cameroun stubbornly wearing their one-piece (swimming suit) kit for the African Nations Cup earlier this year.

I personally think that Cameroun deserves this as they were warned times without number. At the start of the tournament, FIFA asked them to change their strip as it did not comply with the 'equipment' rules, but gave them until the knock out phases of the competition to do that. However, they still wore the kit for the quarter final match with Nigeria (which they lost, :P) citing that they didn't have time to design and order new kits. This blatant defiance of FIFA was supported by Puma, the kit designers, who promised Cameroun that they would pay any fine imposed by FIFA, which is probably why the governing body decided to go the extra mile by deducting points. Cameroun has run into trouble with FIFA over this issuebefore, in the 2002 African Nations Cup, the 2002 World Cup and the Confederations Cup, where they sported sleevless jerseys, so this is a case of FIFA trying to show them who is in charge. Cameroun great Roger Milla, was not surprised, and said he had warned the Cameroun Football Federation (FECAFOOT), "I told them to be careful with the choice of jerseys and now this is the counsequence", he told the BBC.

This decision may seriously jeopardize Cameroun's chances of qualifying for the World Cup for the first time since their brilliant outing in 1990, and the next Nations Cup. They are in group 3 along with Eqypt, Ivort Coast, Libya, Sudan and Benin, so it will be no easy ride for them, and even if they win all their matches, qualification is not guaranteed. Only one of these teams will go on to the Nations Cup, which will serve as qualifying for the World Cup campaign!!

FECAFOOT has decided to appeal the decision. The administrative head of the organisation, Andre Nguidjol said that they had permission to use the kit for the match with Nigeria from the African governing body CAF (Confedaration of African Football). However, he was sacked on Friday, so I guess FECAFOOT don't believe him.

In other African football news, Vincent Enyeama is on trial at Bolton Wanderers with a view to a permanent move. Nigeria's number one goalkeeper, was recommended by the captain of the National side and Bolton, Austin 'Jay-Jay' Okocha. Enyeama was voted the best goalkeeper at the last African Cup of Nations, and in the 2002 World Cup, he made the save of the tournament from a shot by Paul Scholes in Nigeria's match with England. He has previously been playing his football at Enyimba FC in Nigeria, who recently became the first Nigerian team to win the African Champions League. Hopefully, he will move to Bolton during the summer transfer window. Nigerian goalkeepers have not been too successful abroad, but I hope the young Enyeama will do well in England. He has tough competition for the number 1 jersey at Bolton though, with Jussi Jaskaellelien (hope I spelled it right!) in sensational form.

It's been reported this morning that former Argentinian superstar Diego Maradona had a massive heart attack and is currently in critical condition in a private hospital in Buenos Aires. I really hope he'll be OK.

No comments:

Post a Comment