Cameroon minister backs down

By Leocadia BongbenBBC Sport, Yaounde
Cameroon Sports Minister Adoum Garoua
Cameroon Sports Minister Adoum Garoua

Cameroon Sports Minister Adoum Garoua has backed down on his decision to block elections at the country's football federation (Fecafoot).

Garoua was forced into the climbdown by Fifa who warned that his move was tantamount to government interference.

The world governing body takes a dim view of government involvement in football matters.

Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke had given the minister until 9 April to reverse his ban or else.

Garoua suspended the elections in a highly controversial move on 26 March, saying the poll would not be held until a consultation exercise initiated by his office had run its course.

He justified his decision by asking Fecafoot to give his ministry "time to open enlarged consultations so as to streamline the electoral process."

But in a letter to the Fecafoot president Iya Mohammed, Garoua gave the green light for elections to take place without delay.

"I have the honour to invite you to proceed with the electoral calendar of your federation in respect of the national legislature and principles of international sports.

"I equally ask that necessary precautions be taken to avoid the disturbance or menace of public order that can arise through the organisation of such elections," Garoua wrote.

Although the ban has been lifted, Garoua has said that the "enlarged consultation would continue from April 9-23 in my ministry."

BBC Sports understands that Confederation of African Football president Issa Hayatou - himself a Cameroonian - advised President Paul Biya following Fifa's threat.

The Cameroon government has a long history of conflict with Fecafoot, with some of the country's football legends calling for change at the federation.

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