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CAF rejects Cameroon’s request to replace player

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Cameroon’s coach Clarence Seedorf attends a presser at the Ismailia Stadium, on June 24, 2019, on the eve of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match between Cameroon and Guinea-Bissau. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP)

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has turned down Cameroon’s request to replace Joel Tagueu, who will play no part in the on-going Africa Cup of Nations because of a possible heart defect.

The Indomitable Lions, who did not want to risk another death on the field as happened to their late star, Marc-Vivien Foe during the Confederations Cup in France in 2003, withdrew Portugal-based Tagueu after a medical examination revealed a possible life-threatening heart defect.

Now, the Clarence Seedorf-led Cameroon are not given up their bid to register another player.

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CAF’s rules say a player on the final list cannot be replaced unless seriously injured at the latest 24 hours at least before the beginning of his team’s first match.

“We are not satisfied with the decision. We need to go for it again, we hope there will be a change of position,” Seedorf said.

“We did everything we had to do, we made our request 24 hours before the match and we still remain hopeful. It is only fair for CAF to allow us to replace the player.”

Tagueu’s issue was first noticed during a pre-tournament training camp in Qatar. A scan revealed a defect with the striker’s coronary artery.

In a statement, the Cameroon Football Federation said there is a “non-zero risk of sudden death on the field.”

Tagueu, who spent last season with Portuguese top-flight side Maritimo, had undergone several such scans “over the last eight years, according to team doctor Professor William Ngatchou. Previous scans didn’t show any serious issues.

Cameroon began their title defence with a 2-0 defeat of Guinea Bissau.


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