Cameroon soccer federation president re-elected while under arrest
June 20, 2013
Mohammed Iya was first elected president of the Cameroon Football Federation in 1998, and has remained in the position ever since. However, according to The Associated Press, he has been subject to a great deal of scrutiny due to a variety of alleged financial improprieties. The latest of these - charges of embezzlement and and poor financial management in his capacity as director general of Cameroon's Cotton Development Company - led to his arrest on June 10. Despite this, the news source reports that Iya has been re-elected. This development is sure to provoke a wide range of reactions among Cameroon's soccer fans, who are likely to be discussing it fervently on phone calls made using a prepaid phone card.
While Iya was supposed to face off against the federation's first vice president, John Begheni Ndeh, and a former representative of Qatar's Aspire project, Marlene Emvoutou, both competitors boycotted the election, all but ensuring that Iya would end up victorious. For his part, Ndeh argued to the press that the re-election means little for the organization.
"There's not supposed to be any election," Ndeh said. "All what they've done is completely of no consequence whatsoever. The texts clearly indicate that in case of vacancy at the helm, it's the first vice president who runs the structure. I did not convene the elective general assembly. So by law, it is illegal."
Complaints about Iya are not limited to his alleged misdeeds - he has also been pressured to step down by those who believe he's mismanaged the team, and may have led to their failure to qualify for the African Cup continental championship for the past two years.
According to BBC Sport, the federal government of Cameroon attempted to prevent the elections from taking place, but the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) stepped in by saying it would suspend the country from international play if the process did not continue unabated.