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Cameroon: Referees announce strike action

The Situation in the Littoral Regional championship is a mirror reflection of events across the country

by Lesley Ngwa
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  • Cameroonian referees have escalated their protest against the LRFL, demanding settlement of unpaid wages totaling 10,200,000 FCFA and refusing to officiate further matches
  • The collective decision, supported by an overwhelming majority, highlights the severity of the financial neglect they’ve endured, including unpaid fees for multiple championships and cup roundsThe unresolved dispute, marked by a history of unheeded warnings, now challenges the league’s integrity, leaving the football community in anticipation of a just resolution

The association of regional referees has taken a bold stance against the Littoral Regional football league (LRFL) over unpaid wages.

The dispute resurfaced when Referees President Ngon Mbeleck made a letter public on Thursday, June 13, detailing the grievances and the collective decision of the referees.

The letter, addressed to the President of the LRFL, reveals a troubling financial crisis: referees have not received their match fees for an extended period, including the return phase and play-offs of the previous championship (2022-2023), the three preliminary rounds of the Cameroon Cup (2023-2024), and the entire first leg of the current season’s regional championships. The total debt owed to the referees amounts to a staggering 10,200,000 FCFA.

In a quote from the letter, the referees express their resolution:

Refs announce strike action

“The regional referees, after consultation, decided by the vast majority of the opinions given, 78 for, 01 against and 10 abstentions (i.e. 87.64%) to no longer take part in the regional championships (men’s and women) until this financial crisis is resolved.” This decision underscores the severity of the situation and the referees’ determination to secure the wages they are owed.

The letter concludes with a plea for the league to take appropriate measures and make the necessary sacrifices to ensure that regional match officials find serenity and honorable consideration.

The referees have indicated their openness to negotiations, aiming to find a soothing solution to this unpleasant situation and to be considered fairly among those involved in football.

The ongoing wage dispute between the regional referees and the LRFL has yet to elicit a response from the Regional league and the federation. This is not the first instance where referees have threatened to halt officiating due to unpaid wages.

Despite several warnings issued in the past, no concrete actions have been taken to address the referees’ concerns. The lack of response to these repeated calls for fair compensation has only intensified the current standoff, casting a shadow over the league’s commitment to its officials.

The football community awaits a resolution that will respect the referees’ vital role in the sport and ensure such issues are promptly and effectively addressed in the future.

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