Confederation of African Football (CAF) has turned down a Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot) request to allow fans during the Indomitable Lions’ 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifier against Malawi’s Flames tomorrow at Olembe Stadium in Yaounde.
The Cameroon government gave Fecafoot permission to have fans during the match, but CAF has put its foot down that no supporters should be allowed during the qualifiers.
The Tribune newspaper of Cameroon yesterday quoted that country’s Minister of Sports and Physical Education Narcisse Moulle Kombi as having said that government and Fecafoot’s request was not successful.
“This decision is not just against Cameroon, but applies to all Fifa World Cup qualifiers,” he said.
The match between Cameroon and Malawi will be the first at the newly-built Olembe Stadium and Cameroon government and Fecafoot were eager to have fans witness the historic match to mark the launch of the facility.
Following CAF’s decision, Fecafoot has put in a new proposal to have 250 delegates watch the match at the 60 000 capacity stadium.
Failure to have fans at the match has resulted in the Cameroon government postponing the launch of the stadium which is one of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nation finals venue.
“This will not be the launch of the stadium. It will be more of a test match,” The Tribune further quoted Kombi as having said.
On the pitch, the Indomitable Lions have also been dealt a blow as they will miss three key players.
France-based Nantes defender Jean-Charles Castelleto and Cyprus’ Apollon Imassol midfielder Arnaud Djoum will be absent due to injuries.
Fulham’s André-Frank Zambo Anguissa, who has just completed a loan move from Villarreal in Spain to Napoli in Italy, is also ruled out as he is finalising his deal.
The Flames on the other hand have a full squad following the arrival of Simba FC’s Peter Banda who was delayed due to Covid-19 negative certificate issuance issues.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) competitions and communications director Gomezgani Zakazaka said the Flames now have a full house.