Africa Cup of Nations 2019: Cameroon squad REFUSE to board plane to Egypt over unpaid bonuses

CHAOS

The Cameroon squad, who also refused to board a plane to the 2014 World Cup over the same issue, penned an open letter to the public explaining their stance

Cameroon refused to board their plane to Egypt on Thursday ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations 2019.

AFP claim they were told by a federal official that the players did not take their scheduled flight from Yaounde, with the tournament due to get under way on Friday night.

Cameron boss Clarence Seedorf is facing a crisis ahead of the start of the Africa Cup of Nations

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Cameron boss Clarence Seedorf is facing a crisis ahead of the start of the Africa Cup of Nations

The disagreement between the Indomitable Lions and the Cameroon Football Association is down to a variety of factors, most notably unpaid bonuses.

And to date there seems little prospect of the two parties coming to an agreement, with the players reportedly demanding £53,000 each.

The union are only prepared to offer them half that, however.

In an open letter to the general public, signed by all 23 players, the Cameroon squad explained their stance.

Cameroon’s open letter

  1. Most of us paid fully or partially our air tickets from our clubs to the team’s camp for the Afcon preparations.
  2. During camping in Madrid and Doha, no player, among the final 23 or the excluded 14, was paid participation premium.
  3. Our camping in Doha, our trip to Yaounde and the eventual trip to Cairo were all sponsored by Qatar.
  4. 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 like the Afcon.
  5. We have even accepted a 25 per cent slash in our regular bonuses ahead of the upcoming Afcon but unfortunately, they are not honouring this.
  6. We deplore the poor communication between the players and football officials of this country.
  7. This disorganisation led to the refusal of players like Joel Matip, Stephane Mbia and Nicolas Nkoulou to come to camp.
  8. We wish that the future generation of players would not suffer a similar disregard as us and those who preceded us.

This is not the first time the Cameroon squad have taken such decisive action, as back in 2014 – ahead of the World Cup in Brazil – they also refused to board a plane due to disputes over bonuses.

According to state television station CRTV, the players informed Seedorf of their decision not to travel before returning to their base at the Mont Febe hotel, where they wait for action to be taken.

Cameroon are due to face Guinea-Bissau in their opening game of the tournament on Tuesday evening.

Michel Platini has been arrested as part of an investigation to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar