Cameroon players have refused to travel to Egypt for the AFCON after a sendoff ceremony on Thursday evening. They are demanding a double the bonuses paid to their accounts by the government.
The sports ministry confirmed on Friday that $34,500 had been wired to the players’ respective accounts but they want $69,000 each and have refused to leave their Mont Febe hotel in Yaoundé for the airport.
CAF rules stipulate that participating teams must arrive at the competition five days before their first match. The Indomitable Lions will open their campaign against Guinea Bissau on June 25, which is already less than 120 hours (five days).
Mediation from the sport minister and other top dignitaries including Samuel Eto’o failed to yield.
In an open letter the players explained why they took the strike action:
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) We have even accepted a 25% slash in our regular bonuses ahead of the upcoming Afcon but unfortunately they are not honouring this.
5) This disorganisation led to the refusal of players like Joel Matip, Stephane Mbia and Nicolas Nkoulou to come to camp.
The defending champions are the only team yet to arrive in Egypt for the tournament which kicks off today.
This is a developing story and updates will appear here