Cameroon coach Winfried Schafer has cited three examples of Fifa showing prejudice against African teams in a dramatic press conference in Fujiyoshida on Saturday. « They are not respecting the rules, » the German said.
Cameroon drew their first game against the Republic of Ireland and edged past Saudi Arabia 1-0 to leave them needing to beat Germany, the country of Schafer’s birth, to progress from Group E.
But Schafer said on Saturday that he believed the authorities were doing all they could to ensure the two European sides qualified for the knock-out phase.
He claimed that Cameroon were denied a clear penalty in the first minute of the Saudi Arabia game when Daniel Ngom Kome seemed to be fouled in the box. « It was a good penalty that the referee failed to award us, » he said.
Arsenal midfielder Lauren then had a header ruled out for offside but Schafer was unhappy with that decision too. « Even Lauren’s goal later in the first half was a good one, » he said.
« In future, Fifa have to ensure that referees hand out similar treatment to African teams as those accorded to the big teams. »
Schafer then went on to accuse the organisers of shifting the goalposts by moving the timing of Monday’s training schedule by 30 minutes in favour of opponents Germany.
« Fifa and [Japan’s local organising committee] Jawoc are not respecting the rules. According to the rules, since Cameroon are the hosts we choose the time of our training session. We chose 7pm, but they are moving us to 7.30pm in favour of Germany. But we will be on the pitch on 7 pm and the Germans will have to leave. End of discussion.
« It is important for Cameroon to get into the next round. We consider the game against Germany as one between the first and second team [in the group]. We’ll prepare against the Germans and do everything to win, » he added.