Backlash Surrounds AFCON After ‘Scandalous’ Comoros-Cameroon Match

Morocco World News | The Comoros team faced a series of unfortunate events, but showed a good spirit and performance against Cameroon.

Backlash Surrounds AFCON After ‘Scandalous’ Comoros-Cameroon Match. Photo: AFP

Rabat – The Comoros team has received support from fans and internet users after a hard day and a series of unfortunate events ahead of their round of 16 match against host Cameroon on Monday, January 24.

The Cameroonian football federation and the Africa Football Confederation (CAF) are both facing backlash for a series of events that the Comoros football team faced yesterday before their round of 16 clash against the host country. 

A footage is going viral online of Comoros players stuck in traffic without the required security escort as they headed to the stadium. 

The Comoros team also had to change their clothes inside the bus, and some of the players sent sarcastic messages to CAF, congratulating them for the “good organization” of the competition.

Adding insult to injury for Comoros was that 12 of their players — including all their three goalkeepers — were controversially said to have COVID and excluded from the game squad for the match against Cameroon.

Ahead of the match, Comoros was given a little hope after Ali Ahamada, the team’s first choice goalkeeper, tested negative for COVID on the day of the game.

Ahamada traveled from Garoua to Yaounde on Monday so he could participate in the match. But CAF officials incomprehensibly went against their own regulations and decided to rule him out of the match squad. 

When confronted with the contradictory ruling, CAF created a new regulation on the spot, claiming that the Comoros goalkeeper had to self-isolate for a few more days before he could be eligible to play again. But the fact many players in the same situation have played for their countries in the same tournament convinced critics that CAF is favoring Cameroon.

Despite playing with a man down — midfielder Jimmy Abdu was shown a red card at the 7th minute — and with  no recognized goalkeeper — an outfield player deputized for the team’s absent keepers — the Comoros team played with their heart out and only lost narrowly 2-1 to Cameroon. 

After the match, CAF and the president of the Cameronian Football Federation, Samuel Eto’o, faced backlash from many internet users who decried the “scandalous” organization and the organizers’ pro-Cameroon bias. 

“One team ‘won’ the match…. the other team won the fans’ hearts…. Let us hope Gambia will have no ‘Covid’ cases… The existence of the helped Cameroon in this edition will be a bitter pill for Eto’o to swallow. Well done Comoros, a spirited fight,” one Twitter user wrote.

Some critics also slammed Eto’o for celebrating Cameroon’s win, with one commenting: “This is the most embarrassing s**t imagine celebrating against a team that plays with no goalkeepers this is just pure corruption.”

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