Cameroon players refuse to board plane to Brazil


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.

In “pretty good listener” Klopp, Liverpool has breath of fresh air

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool FC
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In some ways, all managers are the same: intelligent football men messing around with the puzzle that is winning matches.

But to listen to Jurgen Klopp’s introductory press conference is to get a different view. While some managers sound like they create the puzzles, or even create the game itself, Klopp speaks of the challenge with reverence.

[ MORE: Klopp unveiled as “the Normal One” ]

In other words, it seems unlikely we will be hearing him utter phrases designed at painting himself as a Picasso of the pitch, rather that of a museum curator.

For example, here’s the new Liverpool boss on the club’s history.

From JPW on Merseyside:

“Twenty-five years ago [since the last league title] is a long time,” Klopp said. “History is only the base for us, [we shouldn’t] keep the history in our backpack all day. I want to see the first step next week and not always compare with other times. This is a great club with big potential. Everything is there. Let’s try to start a new way. Everything is different – I don’t know it all but I’m a pretty good listener.”

The “normal one” speaks like an honor student, not the know-it-all professor demanding students regurgitate facts from the book he wrote and tossed on the syllabus.

And perhaps this is the manner in which the Reds will add a new, positive chapter to their storied history.

Kreis, Schmid dismiss Messing’s job switch comments

Sigi Schmid
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Broadcaster and New York soccer hero Shep Messing caused quite a stir with his comments during the Red Bulls/Impact match on Wednesday, and those words have cause plenty of reaction in MLS.

If you missed it, Messing claims that New York City FC is ready to move on from Jason Kreis after just one season, and that Seattle coach Sigi Schmid is set to swap jobs with the NYC boss.

Messing also claims that Caleb Porter could end his disappointing run in Portland to head back to college soccer.

Kreis and Schmid disagree. The latter says he loves the Sounders and is committed to bringing an MLS Cup to Seattle. Kreis was just flabbergasted.


“I was watching the game last night, and it caught me completely by surprise. I thought that was an absolutely ludicrous statement and unfounded,” Kreis said after training Thursday. “I have no knowledge of that information at all, and I kind of scratch my head because at the end of the day I’m very happy here.”

So is there any truth here? The Porter part makes sense, especially if the Timbers fail to make the postseason again and the brash coach wishes to go back to a place where he’s had success.

As for Schmid and Kreis, that’s a curious one. Maybe NYC’s star studded roster would like a change, and Schmid has more success with big egos. And Kreis would thrive just about anywhere, but why would NYC ditch a man who built this from scratch? They’ve invested so much in the ex-RSL legend.