FIFA give Cameroon the boot
Geneva - FIFA on Thursday banned Cameroon from international competition due to state meddling in their football association, meaning they fail to gain from a decision to dock rivals Togo three points for fielding a suspended player in their World Cup campaign.
In a statement, FIFA said that Cameroon's FA, or FECAFOOT, had been suspended with immediate effect owing to "government interference", but did not elaborate.
FIFA statutes require that the game's national governing bodies be able to conduct their affairs free from official control.
"During the period of suspension, FECAFOOT may not be represented in any regional, continental or international competitions, including at club level, or in friendly matches," FIFA said.
It said a special committee would be set up to organise elections for a new FECAFOOT governing body by the end of March next year, and would meantime run the game in Cameroon.
In a separate announcement, FIFA said that it had punished Togo for fielding suspended Jacques Alexys Romao in their June 9 Group I home game against Cameroon.
Togo have already admitted they were wrong to play the Marseille midfielder in the 2014 World Cup Africa zone qualifier.
Ironically, FIFA's decision to dock three points from Togo would have been a major bonus for Cameroon, changing their 2-0 defeat into a 3-0 victory.
Cameroon are two points behind Libya ahead of a September showdown in Yaounde to decide who wins the group, but the FIFA penalty against Togo would move them into a one-point lead.
But that advantage will be purely academic unless Cameroon can persuade FIFA to lift their ban.
For gorgeous gifts at gorgeous prices, click here for the ultimate Christmas gift guide from Clicks.