The four elite teams from the Northwest have threaten to withdraw their participation in the upcoming elite one and two championships if an office decision relegates PWD of Bamenda to the regional league in place of Batafogo FC of Douala that won a controversial decision against Fovu Club of Baham who still qualifies for the Elite One despite being deducted a point.
In a letter sent to the Professional Football League-LFPC dated November 29, 2017 and signed by the presidents of Bang Bullets (Bang Johnson), National Polytechnic (Yong Francis Afumbom) PWD of Bamenda (Pascal Abunde) and Yong Sports Academy ( Yong Jacques), they notify the LFPC that “we shall withdraw our participation from the Elite Championship if the Professional Football League decides to apply the highly controversial decision of CNOSC (National Olympic Committee) motivated by bias, bribery and corruption…”
Their letter see the eventual decision as “a well orchestrated and properly calculated plan to by some people who prefer to create trouble and decision by sending one of our most populous clubs PWD of Bamenda unjustly out of the elite championship”
To show the serious to which these clubs intend to carry out their threat, the letter is copied the Prime Minister and Head of Government, the Minister of Sports and Physical Education and the President of the Normalization Committee of FECAFOOT.
The letter by the Northwest Elite Club presidents cites a couple of examples that justify their claim. They saw the rescheduling of the matches of the 34th day of play between National Polytechnic Bamenda and Avion of Nkam and PWD versus Fovu of Baham in Mbouda as a decision intended to favour Fovu that needed a one to ascend into the elite one and disfavoured PWD that was battling against relegation and needed a single point to consolidate its position. The match ended in Fovu’s favour (0-2). According to the latter Fovu was virtually playing at home in Mbouda that is in the West region, and this come after PD and the National Polytechnic instead to play their matches at home. The league had justified the re-scheduling on grounds of insecurity in Bamenda.
Furthermore they cite the litigation between Fovu of Baham and Botafogo FC over the eligibility of Ndong Penda Marcellin Christian who was accused of fraudulent identity. The litigation that went through the League’s homologation committee, appealed at the FECAFOOT Homologation Committee in Favour of Fovu Club. The homologation committee of FECAFOOT after reviewing the decision found that Fovu was not party to the fraud because the player has played with the same ID for three different clubs, that is Sable of Batie, Fauve Azur of Yaounde and Fovu of Baham from 2013 to 2017. The match has homolated on the scoreline obtain in the match (1-1)
Following all these, the Clubs presidents write that the League had validated the results of the Elite One and Elite Two championship on October 12, 2017 with Botafogo FC of Douala, Panthere Security of Garoua and Daouala Athletic Club relegated into the inferior league and this was crowned with the holding of the league’s Award Gala on the 13 of October.
What is more curious to the Northwest Elite Club presidents is the decision of the Chamber of Conciliation and Arbitration of the National Olympic Committee on the 7th of November, over a month after the league had ended (4th Oct) that found Fovu Baham not an accomplice in the change of identity of Penda Marcellin but at the same time finds them guilty of fraud in the identity of the player in question.
CNOSC went ahead to award the game to Botafogo. The implications of this is that Botafogo gains two points on the classification table plus three goals while Fovu losses a point but still qualifies for the Elite One while Botafogo escapes relegation. The league had ended with PWD classified 14th on 36 points, AS Matelots 15th on 36 points, Panther Security 16th on 35 points, Botafogo 17th on 34 points and Daouala Athletic Club 18th on 30 points.
Now on 36 points each for PWD (-7 goals difference) Botafogo (-9 goals) and AS Matelot (-17 goals), the article 17 of the League’s rules and regulations for the 2016/2017 football season states that: in case of a tie between three teams, the results between the three teams is taken into consideration, classifying them according to the results obtain against each other. Amongst the three teams Botafogo Comes top on with 7 points following two victories, a draw and defeat, AS Matelots second on 7 points following two victories a draw and a defeat while PWD manages only two points after two home draws.
Another curious issue here is while would PWD that is not party to the litigation be affected up to the extend it would be relegated into the inferior league, why did there league or the CNOSC not use previous decisions like the case of between New Stars vs Feutcheu, Nes Stars vs Racing and in Ngaoundere University Club against Renaiseance de Ngoumou where only the players involved were sanctioned and not the club once it was found that the club had nothing to do with the fraudulent identity. Why is the LFPC silent since the verdict was announced?
Meanwhile Fovu Club of Baham has appealed the decision and in a recent press conference held in Douala announced that the CNOSC verdict is bias and vindictive. Affaire a suivre.