News ID: 254698
Published: 0228 GMT June 22, 2019

Cameroon arrives late for Cup of Nations due to pay dispute

Cameroon arrives late for Cup of Nations due to pay dispute

Cameroon’s squad arrived in Egypt for the Africa Cup of Nations late on Saturday after delaying its departure over a pay dispute, risking possible sanction.

The African side touched down in Cairo at around 11 p.m. local time, to be greeted by a small group of supporters, some 24 hours behind schedule, Reuters reported.

The squad had refused to embark for Egypt on Thursday, calling for its fee to be doubled for appearing at the tournament, which it won two years ago.

But the team later agreed to travel without any promise of more money.

The Cameroon football federation said each player was paid a qualification bonus of 20 million CFA francs ($34,693) and would be given five million CFA francs after winning a first game at the tournament.

In a letter signed by all the players, they said most had paid their own air tickets to the team’s pretournament training camps in Madrid and Doha.

“A presidential decree dating back to 2014 states that all bonuses, participation fees for friendly matches and camping must be paid to the players before the start of a major tournament,” they wrote.

“We have even accepted a 25 percent cut in our regular bonuses ahead of the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations but unfortunately, they are not honoring this. We deplore the poor communication between the players and football officials of this country.

“We wish that the future generation of players would not suffer a similar disregard as us and those who preceded us.”

Cameroon starts the defense of its title against Guinea Bissau in Ismailia in Group F on Tuesday.

According to tournament regulations, teams must be in the host country five days before the kickoff of their opening match, which means Cameroon faces a possible fine.

In 2014, Cameroon squad refused to board a plane due to take it to Brazil for the World Cup because of disputes over bonuses, also delaying it departure until players were paid more.

Disputes over bonus payments also overshadowed Cameroonians’ participation at both the 1994 and 2002 World Cups, where the team failed to get past the opening group stage.

 

   
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