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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 April, 2004, 16:19 GMT 17:19 UK
Cameroon to plead for mercy
Ignace Mizuh
BBC Sport, Yaounde

Cameroon's Patrick Mboma in action
Cameroon's Patrick Mboma (right) in the controversial kit in Tunisia

Cameroon will plead for mercy rather than confront Fifa over the world body's decision to punish the Indomitable Lions for using illegal kit during the African Nations Cup.

Fifa deducted six points from Cameroon's World Cup qualifying matches as a punishment for their use of one-piece kits at the Nations Cup finals in Tunisia.

Sports Minister Bidoung Mkpatt said Cameroon "probably deserved the sanction" but pointed out that as one of Fifa's goals is to promote football around the world, "they should show some pity".

"The committee is not going to confront Fifa but will try to persuade them to be considerate and lift the sanction," the minister said.

"They should try and avoid attacking Fifa in any of their moves.

"I think the solution can only be gotten through peaceful negotiation and consultation.

"The committee's responsibility is great and complex, but the whole nation is counting on them for success."

The Minister was speaking ahead of the committee's first meeting, with whom he spent two hours behind closed doors.

The commission will start work on Wednesday with a meeting with Puma, the German manufacturers of the controversial kit, in Yaounde.

Speaking after the meeting, lawyer Akere Muna, a member of the committee, said that they have to work quickly and submit their written appeal by Monday.

"We are going to have a look at all the documents and then prepare our written submission, which has to be ready by Monday," he said.

"I'm confident that we will do our best in honour for our beloved Cameroon."

A delegation from the committee is expected to travel to Zurich, Switzerland to personally submit the appeal to Fifa's Disciplinary Committee on Monday.

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