The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has decided to replace a trio of South African referees led by Jérôme Damon, 37, ahead of the Senegal-Cameroon African Cup of Nations qualifying clash scheduled to hold in Dakar on March 26, after Cameroon officials challenged the professionalism of Damon, who had officiated a couple of games involving the Indomitable Lions in recent past, the Cameroon FA said on Wednesday.
”The trio of South African referees originally designated for the Senegal-Cameroon match have been replaced by a trio from Tunisia because the South Africans faced contestations from Cameroon officials,” a source from CAF was quoted as saying by Senegal News Agency, APS.
In a statement published Wednesday, the Senegal Football Federation confirmed the change after receiving a fax from the continent’s football governing body earlier on.
The appointment of Jerome Damon and co had aroused criticism within the Cameroon FA, which said the body had a bitter memory of Damon’s performance during the Cameroon-Egypt clash at Angola 2010, where the referee “allowed a goal against Cameroon with the ball not crossing the line”.
And secondly during Mauritius-Cameroon meeting in the first round of the 2012 AFCON qualifiers, won though by Cameroon 3-1, but the Lions’ staff had qualified some of the referee’s decisions as poor.
Observers in Cameroon felt the appointment of a South African trio could have favoured Senegal since the president of CAF Referee Commission is Senegalese.
Senegal tops Group E with six points, followed by Cameroon with 4 points. Sports experts however say Cameroon with one of the best srtikers in the world, Samuel Eto’o, goes to Senegal with an advantage and the team is expected to carry home an away leg win.
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