Dirty Tackle

Cameroon FA president Mohammed Iya re-elected and sent to prison on same day

Ryan Bailey
Dirty Tackle

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(cameroononline.org)

(cameroononline.org)

Mohammed Iya has been in charge of the Cameroon Football Association (Fecafoot) since 1998, having successfully navigated re-election campaigns in 2004 and 2009.

Fecafoot was due to stage an election last month, but it was suspended for "security reasons" and the rescheduled date was also mysteriously postponed too. Thankfully, the elections finally took place on Wednesday and Iya was successful once again, earning an impressive 97 out of 98 "valid" votes cast by the federation's 102 delegates.

There is just one issue: on the same day as his victory, Iya was transferred to Kondengui central prison for misappropriating the funds of a state-owned company he runs. AP reports:

[Iya] was arrested at a Yaounde hotel on June 10 after being implicated in mismanagement while managing director at the [state-owned] Cotton Development Corporation, which state auditors say resulted in it losing about $19 million between 2005 and 2010.

Iya had already been fined and banned from holding a similar position for seven years after the auditors said he made costly mistakes, but could now face trial on more serious charges of mismanagement and embezzling money.

Iya's opponents assert that the election should never have taken place (their boycott of the process explains why only 98 votes were cast from 102 members) with first vice president John Begheni Ndeh claiming the whole thing was illegal. The incumbent leader has also been under pressure to stand down in light of Cameroon's failure to qualify for the 2012 and 2013 editions of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Until Iya earns his freedom once again, his deputy Alim Konate—who represented him in the election—will run Fecafoot. Presumably, he will visit Iya behind bars and deliver him ice cream sandwiches, while observing the "NO TOUCHING" rule.

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