One of Cameroon’s Professional League clubs, Bamboutos Football Club of Mbouda, has been relegated from the Elite I Championship to the Elite II Championship following a contentious financial imbroglio between the club and the Coach.
The decision was taken on Monday, August 13 by members of the Homologation and Disciplinary Commission of the Cameroon Professional Football League. The decision was passed following instructions from the World Football Governing Body (FIFA).
Bamboutos demised came from an unpaid salary to one of its dismissed coaches. In 2015, the club recruited Belgian-born, Johan Buyle, but later dismissed him in December of the same year even before the 2015/2016 season could be launched.
Buyle then complained to FIFA for arbitrary dismissal and non-payment of salary. On April, 12, 2018, FIFA ruled in Buyle’s favour and asked the club to pay him the sum of FCFA 21,652,150.
On August 8, Buyle’s Attorney informed FIFA of the non-reception of the said sum of money. Two days later, FIFA requested the Cameroon Professional Football League to relegate Bamboutos to an inferior division because of the non-payment of Buyle’s arrears, which according to the organisation, is a violation of article 64 of its Code of Discipline.
Bamboutos which finished third in the 2017/2018 season and was to represent the country in the CAF Champions League has now been relegated to Division II League. Therefore, New Stars of Douala, which was fourth, has now become third with a ticket to play at the CAF Champions League next season.
Moreover, Unisport de Haut Nkam, which had already packed its bags for the Elite II has now been maintained in the Elite I. The decision has been saluted by one of the team’s former coaches, Serge Branco, who said the team is paying the price of poor management.
This is the second time Bamboutos is being relegated to an inferior league within five years and still from an off the pitch case. The Club was the finalist in the 2017 Cup of Cameroon and it is believed to be the most supported team in Cameroon. During that final, the team demanded 30 thousand tickets for its supporters alone.