FIFA Holding “Priority Investigation” into Cameroon’s Behavior against England

FIFA is holding a priority investigation into Cameroon’s behavior in their World Cup second-round defeat to England on Sunday and want to conclude the matter within the next 24 hours.

They’re looking into all aspects of Cameroon’s behavior and the allegations/comments made after the game by players and manager Alain Djeumfa.

FIFA is compiling match reports from all officials involved in the game, including Alexandro Benado, who was the match commissioner.

The CAF (Confederation of African Football) cannot take any action because the World Cup is strictly a FIFA event, but there is an acceptance they want action taken after the statement on Sunday night from Head of African Women’s Football, Isha Johansen.

Johansen said she wanted action taken against Cameroon, stating the game, “reflected badly not only on African women’s football but African football on the whole.”

But FIFA’s hands are somewhat tied by the Disciplinary Code, which states that under normal circumstances there can be no further action taken unless there is recommendation to do so in either the referee’s or the commissioner’s report.

Article 72 of the Code states refereeing decisions taken on the pitch are final but in certain circumstances, the jurisdiction of the judicial bodies may apply.

The Disciplinary Committee is responsible for

a) sanctioning serious infringements which have escaped the match officials’ attention;
b) rectifying obvious errors in the referee’s disciplinary decisions;
c) extending the duration of a match suspension incurred automatically by an expulsion and
d) pronouncing additional sanctions, such as a fine.

It means retrospective action against Alexandra Takounda for her challenge on Steph Houghton, Augustine Ejangue for spitting at Toni Duggan — albeit accidentally — and Yvonne Leuko for the elbow on Nikita Parris is possible, however, FIFA has now studied the performance of referee Liang Qin and officially adjudged her performance as “good.”

FIFA also found “every decision and the use of VAR was correct, using the protocols.” They felt Qin tried in every way to get the Cameroonian players to restart promptly by using the correct dialogue.

FIFA is also said to be unhappy with Cameroon for their complaints about Ellen White’s goal and false claims that the offside flag was up before White had taken her shot.

Takounda is the likeliest to face potential retrospective action for her late challenge on Houghton. Leuko’s elbow on Parris, though, wasn’t referred by VAR so it’s unlikely there will be any further action taken.

While FIFA deemed Liang Qin to have a good game overall, it is understood VAR was overruled on both the Kirby penalty incident and the late potential red card in order to manage the game and ensure it came to a conclusion.

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