African Cup of Nations defending champion, Cameroon, may miss the 2019 mundial beginning on Friday night after the country’s national team refused to board a flight to the host country, Egypt.
The players refused to leave their hotel rooms after asking the government to pay them 40 million francs (€61,000) each, instead of the 20 million francs (€30,500), already paid into their bank accounts.
Attempts by top football figures in the country to settle the problem and convince manager Clarence Seedorf’s boys to change their minds failed.
The players, who were hosted at a reception in the capital, Yaounde, on Thursday in an open letter listed eight demands.
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% 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.
Signed by ALL 23 players.
By the rules of the Confederation of African Football, the team ought to have arrived the host country on Friday morning.