The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has decided to replace a trio of South African referees led by Jérôme Damon, 37, ahead of the Senegal-Cameroon African Cup of Nations qualifying clash scheduled to hold in Dakar on March 26, after Cameroon officials challenged the professionalism of Damon, who had officiated a couple of games involving the Indomitable Lions in recent past, the Cameroon FA said on Wednesday.
''The trio of South African referees originally designated for the Senegal-Cameroon match have been replaced by a trio from Tunisia because the South Africans faced contestations from Cameroon officials,” a source from CAF was quoted as saying by Senegal News Agency, APS.
In a statement published Wednesday, the Senegal Football Federation confirmed the change after receiving a fax from the continent’s football governing body earlier on.
The appointment of Jerome Damon and co had aroused criticism within the Cameroon FA, which said the body had a bitter memory of Damon’s performance during the Cameroon-Egypt clash at Angola 2010, where the referee “allowed a goal against Cameroon with the ball not crossing the line”.
And secondly during Mauritius-Cameroon meeting in the first round of the 2012 AFCON qualifiers, won though by Cameroon 3-1, but the Lions’ staff had qualified some of the referee’s decisions as poor.
Observers in Cameroon felt the appointment of a South African trio could have favoured Senegal since the president of CAF Referee Commission is Senegalese.
Senegal are topping Group E with six points, and will play host to Cameroon, who have managed to gather four points from two games. The visitors need an imperative win or worst, a tie, to keep up hopes of qualifying for the Gabon / Equatorial Guinea 2012.