Cameroon – Sports: The Decline of Cameroon in Sports Diplomacy

Written by Deckson N.

After the exit of Issa Hayatou from the CAF, it is the turn of Hamad Kalkaba Malboum, temporarily  suspended from the Olympic body in Africa.

Cameroon’s sports diplomacy is straining. In the space of two months, the country is about to lose two of its most valuable ambassadors in the governing bodies of sport in Africa and in the world. They are Issa Hayatou and Hamad Kalkaba Malboum.

The Kalkaba Scandal

The president of the National Olympic and Sports Committee of Cameroon (CNOSC) is currently in turmoil. Colonel Kalkaba Malboum was recently suspended on an interim basis from the Olympic body of Africa. The decision taken by the Executive Committee of the Association of African Olympic Committees (ANOCA) follows Ethiopia’s accusations of unethical behavior.

Already chairman of the African Athletics Confederation and vice-president of the World Athletics Federation (IAAF), Kalkaba Malboum was a candidate for the presidency of ANOCA against the Ivorian Lassana Palenfo. But a few days before the general assembly held in Djibouti from 9 to 11 May 2017, ANOCA returned to the possession of the documents that incriminate our compatriot.

These documents, some of which have gone around the web, reveal that Kalkaba Malboum received a lot of money from the Cameroonian government as part of his campaign. 186 million FCFA in all that the beneficiary would then redistribute to associations in the four corners of the continent in order to be elected. An approach prohibited by the statutes of ANOCA. As a result, the former president of the Cameroonian handball federation was dismissed, leaving the field free to his challenger, Palenfo who has re-entered for 4 years.

However, the problems do not seem to be over for our compatriot, since a procedure has been opened with the International Olympic Committee. Kalkaba will go before the Ethics Committee of this body and if the charges prove to be justified, he may lose all the positions he occupies, both nationally and internationally.

The Humiliation of Issa Hayatou

If this hypothesis were realized, the country of the late Joseph Bessala, Martin Ndongo Ebanga and Françoise Mbango would lose in succession major ambassadors of her sports diplomacy. Last March, Issa Hayatou was genuinely humiliated by the Confederation of African Football, which he led for 29 years.

The former basketball player was then beaten by the Malagasy Ahmad Ahmad by the score without a call of 34 votes to 20. A real dismissed for the outgoing president who was nevertheless one of the few to have escaped the cases of corruption, which shook the end of the reign of Joseph Sepp Blatter at the head of FIFA.

The Cameroonian had even had the honor of acting, becoming the first African to preside over the destinies of world football. But the election of Gianni Infantino, a candidate Hayatou did not support, marked the beginning of the end for the septuagenarian. He now has to be satisfied with the honorary post of honorary president of the CAF.

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Deckson N.

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