2014 World Cup: Cameroon players in yet another financial dispute with their FA

Samuel Eto’o and Cameroon’s other World Cup stars are locked in a battle with their federation over bonuses for the tournament, press reports said.
Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o kicks the ball during a training session in the Austrian village of Walchsee May 23, 2014. Cameroon's national soccer team gathered for a training camp in Walchsee in preparation for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Dominic Ebenbichler / Reuters
Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o kicks the ball during a training session in the Austrian village of Walchsee May 23, 2014. Cameroon's national soccer team gathered for a training camp in Walchsee in preparation for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Dominic Ebenbichler / Reuters

KUFSTEIN, Austria // Samuel Eto’o and Cameroon’s other World Cup stars are locked in a battle with their federation over bonuses for the tournament, press reports said.

The African team, who will be playing in their seventh finals in Brazil, beat Macedonia 2-0 in a warm-up match in Austria on Monday, while back home the players face mounting press criticism over their wage demands.

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The Cameroon government last week offered €61,000 (Dh305,000), which the players rejected, and then increased it to €68,000, which was also turned down, Cameroon daily Le Jour reported.

The newspaper said the players were demanding more than 120 million CFA francs (€182,000) each. Le Jour blasted the demand as “indecent”.

The Nouvelle Expression daily said there is “tension” over the bonuses, which have been a regular problem between the players and their bosses.

At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, when Cameroon slumped out after the first round, the players received a reported €65,000. The team reached the quarter-finals in 1990 but have otherwise failed to go past the first round. Their record has been picked up by critics in the latest money dispute.

“It is urgent to question the unfettered mercantilism of the ‘soldiers’ of another kind for whom we are still waiting for the first prizes on the battle field,” said Le Jour.

Eto’o watched from the substitutes bench as Cameroon, who start the World Cup in Group A against Brazil, Croatia and Mexico, confidently beat Macedonia in Kufstein.

There was concern for Cameroon coach Volker Finke when Pierre Webo performed a spectacular scissors kick for the first goal in the 52nd minute but fell on his shoulder and had to be helped off the field.

Finke said the Fenerbahce striker was OK: “I don’t think it’s too serious.”

sports@thenational.ae

Published: May 27, 2014 04:00 AM

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