Cameroon: Why Bafang Municipal Stadium Was Suspended
By Ngunyi Sonita Nwhoitazie
Is our football growing or going down the drain? This a question that has been rooming in the minds of many Cameroonians as the fans of Uniport of Bafang disrupted the second leg game between their club and South West side Victoria United, at the Bafang municipal stadium.
The game which counted for match day 14 of the MTN Elite Two Championship ended in fear and panic for some football lovers after the referee gave a 92nd-minute penalty against Uniport of Bafang, a situation which triggered the fans to invade the pitch, beat up the referee and his linesmen for taking such a decision.
Uniport of Bafang was leading in this encounter after David Caleb Lienod opened scores at the 62 minutes. During the first 45 minutes of the encounter, the tension of the game intensified after the Unisport fans judged the referee to have given “questionable decisions.”
Worse still, the ball pickers had been contaminated with a biased mindset as at one point during the encounter, one of them refused to give the ball to a Victoria United player even after the referee ordered him to do so. This incident continued for about three minutes with the Unisport supporters encouraging the ball boy not to give the ball back and even ordering him not to leave the pitch after the referee had said so.
A few minutes to the end of the encounter, a Victoria United player was judged by the referee to have been fouled inside the Unisport penalty area, and a penalty was given. The anger that had been boiling all through the game erupted as Unisport fans invaded the pitch, and assaulted the match officials.
This is the second Elite two game this season that has been halted and the first not to be completed. Earlier on in the season, Victoria United’s game against Tonnerre at the Limbe Centenary stadium was abruptly halted after the president of Victoria United Nkwain valentine, entered the field of play and ceased the match ball. Bobdidy, as he is fondly called, had felt cheated by the referee, due to several decisions against his side.
Following the unspeakable violence meted on the match officials, the management of Uniport of Bafang, in a communique condemned the barbaric actions carried out by their fans. The football club has promised to better control their fans.
The Cameroon Football Federation, FECAFOOT, following the dramatic situation caused by Uniports of Bafang fans, has suspended the Bafang municipal stadium indefinitely. According to the communique, more sanctions will be announced in the days ahead. Victoria United will on Saturday, February 18 play against Lausanne in Yaounde while Unisport will play against AS FAP of Yaounde on the same day.