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CAF has replaced the referee trio meant for the Senegal-Cameroon March 26 encounter upon the insistence of the Cameroon FA…

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''The trio of South African referees originally designated for the Senegal-Cameroon match have been replaced by a trio from Tunisia because the South Africans faced contestations from Cameroon officials,” a source from CAF was quoted as saying by Senegal News Agency,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.


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