Managerless Eding Sport in crisis ahead of Plateau United showdown

Alphonse Tientcheu of Cameroon Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Cameroonian champions Eding Sport are in crisis ahead of their CAF Champions League bow against Plateau United this weekend following an internal rupture which has left them without a head coach.

Eding Sport won their first Elite One title last term, but their preparations for their maiden campaign in Africa's premier club competition - and a meeting with reigning NPFL champions Plateau - have been devastated by a dispute between club president Saint-Fabien Mvogo and coach Anicet Foe Mbarga.

The disagreement stems from Mvogo's interference in the technical decisions made ahead and during the first half of Eding's friendly defeat by neighbours Apejes de Mfou in Yaounde on Saturday.

Mbarga was unhappy with the club chief's decision to overrule him, and left the stadium at half time, leaving his team in the lurch.

"He owes us explanations," complained Mvogo to Cameroonian source Press Sport. "We are waiting for him to answer.

"For the moment, he's not suspended."

With Mbarga still AWOL, technical director Bonaventure Djonkep oversaw Eding's latest preparatory game, a 2-0 defeat by AS Fortuna that has raised serious concerns about their readiness for Plateau United.

In the coach's absence, training has been led by the trio of Sebastien Bata Ntjam, fitness coach Dayim Epiphanie and goalkeeper coach Younoussa Bouba Oumourou, while Mvogo explained to CamFoot the reasons behind Mbarga's exit.

"He broke the instructions," the club president began. "We have meetings every Monday and all decisions that are made there must be respected.

"This wasn't the case over these last two weeks."

Mbarga also confirmed that Djonkep would oversee the team against Plateau United in Nigeria on Friday, although it remains to be seen whether title-winning coach Mbarga will be back for the second leg.

"We had stopped picking the starting XI from the start in our two friendlies last weekend," Mvogo added, "but I didn't understand why some players, who didn't have a CAF licence, were at the stadium.

"Against AS Fortuna, it was planned to play the new recruits, the players returning from injury, and those internationals who are returning from the African Nations Championship."

The recent rupture with Mbarga represents the first significant setback for a club who have enjoyed a meteoric rise since being founded in 2012.

They reached the Elite One in 2015, and became the first team from Cameroon's Central Region to win the title since Canon Yaounde in 2002.

Mbarga, who learned his coaching craft in Germany, was appointed in 2016 following spells with Union Sportive de Douala, US Loum and New Stars de Douala.

KweséESPN have reached out to our sources at Eding Sport for further comment.