24/10/2010 20:07:18
Investigation: Making a killing out of football
Report into the state of the game in Cameroon reveals alarming financial irregularities
The Guardian / Cameroonvoice
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Three African countries have representatives on the Fifa executive committee. Here are some of the findings of the Forum for African Investigative Reporters' report into the state of football in one of the country(Cameroon)

Some of the world's biggest companies like to be associated with Cameroon, who have played in more World Cups than any other African nation. Players such as Roger Milla and Samuel Eto'o are good for marketing. The sponsorship money appears to have done little good for football, though. Chief Bisong Etahoben and Franklin Sone Bayen report that:

■ The most powerful man in Cameroon football is Issa Hayatou, a Fifa executive member. Two of his brothers are ministers, and there has been a Hayatou in every Cameroonian government for 50 years. A reporter who tried to investigate Hayatou's wealth earlier this year is in hiding after being beaten and threatened.

■ Mobile phone company MTN pumped in $600,000 of an $800,000 project to renovate a number of stadiums. The other $200,000 was to come from Fecafoot, the Cameroonian FA, but instead, $146,000 ended up in the pockets of the then sports minister, Thierry Augustin Edzoa, so that he could "breathe easier", he said after the payment. The work never happened. The $600,000 is unaccounted for.

■ Parliament appropriated more than $24m for another stadium renovation project. No work took place, the country's two main stadiums are more dilapidated than ever and there is nothing to show for the money.

■ Fecafoot office staff threatened to go on strike after being unpaid for 44 months. Fifa sent money for the wages to be paid: officials stumped up 16 months' back pay and pocketed the rest.

■ A Fecafoot official took $16,000 expenses for an air ticket after saying his original ticket had been lost. He boarded the plane using the first ticket, and kept the $16,000.

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