Corruption In Our Football: Need For Stringent Combat Measures

The vocabulary of corruption is current on the lips of fans and observers of football these days. A case of corruption surfaced during a Panthere Vs Yafoot elite one match on 1 July, 2022 in Garoua. It is reported that an authority of Panthere Sportive of Nde football club colliding with the coach and two players of Yaounde II team (Yafoot) were found guilty of trading a match to enable Panthere’s survival in the elite one. Consequently, the culprits were sanctioned for corrupt practices by the homologation and disciplinary committee of FECAFOOT. 
Notably, the Panthere official received a five-year suspension from any football activity and was additionally fined FCFA five million for buying the match from Yafoot team coach and players. The Yaounde II coach and players, sellers of the match, were equally and respectively penalized with sacking and fines. The sanctions were meted out after due investigations. 
Whether those concerned appealed their sanctions or not, the bottom-line remains to cleanse Cameroon football from mediocrity. The artillery against corruption also intends to galvanise competitiveness and fair-play and as well cure the persistent poor performances of Cameroon local clubs in international competitions.
The reason to fight corrupt practices and inefficiency in football is even more urgent given the fame Cameroon enjoys in the eyes of the world as five-time football champion of Africa (in 1984, 1988, 2000, 2002, and 2017). Equally, Cameroon’s eight-time participation at the FIFA World Cup jamboree (in 1982, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010, 2014, and 2022) remains an exploit still envied by many first world nations. Hitherto, local clubs like Oryx and Union of Douala, Canon and Tonnerre of Yaounde trumpeted Cameroon’s name on the international arena and won trophies of Cup Winners and national championship leaders. 
Disgustingly, no Cameroonian football club has won a continental football title more than two decades ago. The continual dismal performance of Cameroon clubs warrants football management overhaul. This begins with a fierce fight against corruption also understood as any illegal and unethical acts or omissions that consciously distort the normal progress of football. 
Football is emerging as the new yardstick for peoples’ cheerfulness. On account of that fact, politicians are using the game as a source of their popularity. Business ventures are exploiting the sport as money-making asset. Even as an entertainment where players kick and run behind a balloon of air, football is known to be a gold mine both for players and managers of the sport. 
Be it for political, economic or social reasons, the sport of modern football, invented in Britain in the 19th century, has erected its own status as a crowd-puller, a unifier, entertainer and communion. Yet, where interests converge, corruption, bad faith and poor management may find fertile ground. And so the gangrene of corruption appears to be eating deep into Cameroon football circles. If football pundits do not raise their heads to put the game out of harm’s way, the hitherto glory known of Roger Miller’s Country may be watered down just when expectations are becoming higher.
Malpractices in the management of football have windswept Cameroon’s glorious past leaving under-performance to show. The falling blocks of Cameroon football construct are glaring these days. Latest results show Cameroon’s flag bearing Indomitable Lions having lost successive 2022 world cup build-up friendlies to yet very obscure opponents in the history of the game. Cameroon cannot slumber this far having produced continental icons in the likes of Roger Miller, Samuel Eto’o Fils, Thomas Nkono, Bell Joseph Antoine and others. This gives more acumen to the country to protect the integrity of its football industry. 
But, how does corruption practically manifest and raise its ugly head in the pitch and outside the pitch? It happens that power mongering and blinding economic goals are the drivers of football vices. Those setbacks often take such forms as to include treachery, swindling, impunity, financial folly and inefficiency. Shunning the vices will keep Cameroon football in the throne of fame. The fame will continue to unite Cameroon and maintain its cohesion. The condition for that dream is foresight, seriousness, timely actions and sufficient deterring sanctions against defaulters. 
With the election of ace footballer, Samuel Eto’o Fils, last 11 December, 2021, at the helm of FECAFOOT, hopes were rife to allow football in the hands of footballers who should know where the boots pinch. The new l...

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