We’ve had plenty of news about individual players not being able to get on the plane to Brazil, much of it heartbreaking, with last-minute injuries keeping them from taking the field at the World Cup.
But this is the first we’ve seen of an entire team threatening to miss out on the tournament: On Sunday, Cameroon players refused to board the plane set to carry them from Yaoundé to Brazil.
According to French sports daily L’Equipe, the reason the players refused to travel was due to a disagreement over bonuses. The extras offered are not what the squad expected. Last month, Cameroon daily Le Jour reported that the government had offered €61,000, then increased it to €68,000. The players were allegedly holding out for €182,000 (~$250,000).
Cameroon have already struggled to make it to the World Cup. Last July, they were suspended from international soccer due to government interference. They were only allowed to play their remaining qualifying games after agreeing to FIFA’s appointment of a normalization committee. Wonder what FIFA will make of this?
This isn’t the first time Cameroon have had disagreements over the amount of bonuses to be paid to the players. Prior to the 2002 World Cup, the players threatened a strike, demanding bonuses owed to them after qualification. It took nearly a week to convince them to leave for Japan.
Cameroon don’t have a week. Their first match, against Mexico, is scheduled for Friday, June 13. Bad luck, indeed.
Miguel Pinto is the opposing goalkeeper whose long-range clearance, which covered about 50 yards during the final seconds of Universidad de Concepcion’s clash with O’Higgins in the Chilean first division, was taken off the fly, first-time, by the Argentine midfielder to seal a 3-1 victory for the home side.
Three of Roma’s locally born standouts held a meeting with the “ultra” fans during the week. Captain Francesco Totti, Daniele De Rossi and Alessandro Florenzi asked the supporters to return, and the club itself has also tried to resolve the matter.
But the appeals had no effect.
In contrast, Lazio fans filled the northern end of the stadium as usual.
The plexiglass barriers were put in place by city officials for security reasons.
In Episode 2 of Behind the Badge: Watford FC, watch the players’ recovery after a win against Leicester, a look at the club’s one-of-a-kind internship program and a flashback to a memorable moment in Watford’s history.
Following Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Southampton, in which Pardew’s side saved his job (for the time being), the 55-year-old Eagles boss and former player chose the first bright moment, Palace’s first Premier League win since Sept. 24, to hit out at the club’s new American owners with a scathing assessment of the footballing prowess, or perhaps lack thereof — quotes from the Guardian:
“The chairman got a bit edgy this week, as you’d expect. We have a lot of serious investors at the club who perhaps don’t know a lot about football so the chairman has been defending me.
“I always think as a manager at any level, particularly in the modern era, expect the sack. Just expect it; it’s coming at some stage, so just do your job as best you can. Every week, that’s what I try to do.
“Sometimes it’s hard to dress up six defeats when you’re the owner of the club and you have investors. Obviously there are things he’s got no control over but he’s tried to offer me all the assistance that he could. He’s been brilliant for me and I just want to say thank you to him really.”
With various reports linking Sam Allardyce and Roberto Mancini to a job which he still holds, it’s understandable that Pardew would be slightly on edge, quick to thump his chest and restake his claim as the right man for the job, but perhaps alienating and borderline embarrassing the new investors, who are now responsible for signing your paychecks, wouldn’t have been my go-to move.