The standoff between the Cameroonian Football Federation (Fécafoot) and the State following the appointment, on April 2, of Belgian Marc Brys as coach of the Indomitable Lions is turning sour.

Not only did the body responsible for supervising Cameroonian football not validate the appointment of the new coach on the pretext that it had not been sufficiently consulted, but it asked its president, former international Samuel Eto’ o, to appoint a coach and a technical staff himself. A logic, if it were pushed to the end, which would make the Indomitable Lions the first team in the world with double coaching.

Can Fécafoot afford to so openly defy the sports ministry? Monday April 8, Samuel Eto’o was conspicuous by his absence during the signing of Marc Brys’ two and a half year contract in Yaoundé. Explaining that he received his invitation too late, he justified himself by saying that he was busy with his father’s funeral, scheduled for Thursday to Saturday in Ngambé, 150 kilometers west of Yaoundé. The former striker, renowned for his rants, however, did not consider it useful to be represented by one of the members of the executive committee of the body.

A few hours after his arrival in Yaoundé, Marc Brys expressed his desire to meet the president of Fécafoot as quickly as possible. But the latter did not follow up on the proposal from the former Louvain coach.

High salary expectations

“Either Samuel Eto’o has decided to adopt an almost suicidal attitude, or he hopes to negotiate something with the Minister of Sports. But we don’t really see what his goal is, and especially who he could appoint,” asks a former member of Fécafoot who requested anonymity.

At the Ministry of Sports, for the moment we are content to take note of the disagreement. The former FC Barcelona star “is free to do what he wants, but the appointment of another coach would be a real defiance of the State,” warns Cyrille Tollo, technical advisor to the Minister of Sports Narcisse Mouelle Kombi. We continue to believe that he loves his country, that he respects its institutions and that he will return to better feelings. »

Supporters of the Indomitable Lions never stop speculating about the identity of the coach that the president of Fécafoot could appoint. According to the Ministry of Sports, the federation had submitted the application files and salary expectations of three coaches before Marc Brys was appointed: those of the Frenchman Hervé Renard, the Italian Fabio Cannavaro and the Portuguese José Peseiro. But none really have the right profile.

The first, under contract with the French Football Federation (FFF) until August 31 as coach of the French women’s team, is not free. Fabio Cannavaro and José Peseiro are still available, but their salary demands reach 1.5 million euros per year, a sum that Fécafoot, given its financial situation, would have great difficulty meeting. It also seems unlikely that the two European technicians would wish to associate their name and image with a strictly Cameroonian affair.

“I don’t see any coach, whether Cameroonian or foreign, who could accept such an offer and put himself in a very uncomfortable position which could harm his reputation,” insists Joseph-Antoine Bell, former goalkeeper of the Indomitable Lions. African champion in 1984 and 1988. Samuel Eto’o says he is busy with his father’s funeral, which is commendable. When might he find the time to look for a coach? And above all for what purpose? A coach has been appointed, we must put an end to this matter. »

As for the International Football Federation (FIFA), it has not yet commented on the crisis shaking Cameroonian football. Supporters of Samuel Eto’o recall that Marc Brys’ contract must be signed by the president of Fécafoot to be validated and registered by FIFA, but this does not really seem to worry Cyrille Tollo: “In 2007 then in 2012, the The body, then chaired by Mohammed Iya, did not want to sign the contracts of the German Otto Pfister and the Cameroonian Jean-Paul Akono, but that did not prevent their validation. »