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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 May, 2004, 12:26 GMT 13:26 UK
Schaefer pleads for points
Cameroon coach Winfried Schaefer
Schaefer says Fifa must live up to its motto and show fair play

Cameroon coach Winfried Schaefer has criticised Fifa's decision to strip his team of six World Cup qualifying points and called for them to be restored.

Last month, football's world governing body fined the Cameroon football federation and deducted points from the Indomitable Lions as punishment for wearing a one-piece strip in the 2004 Cup of Nations.

The decision has disappointed Cameroon's German coach.

"There needs to be fair play from Fifa," Schaefer said.

The coach, who was speaking in Yaounde following Friday's African Football awards, even cited the Indomitable Lions' continued presence in the 2003 Confederations Cup following Marc-Vivien Foe's death as reason for Fifa to be lenient.

"At the Confederations Cup last year, our midfield general Marc-Vivien Foe died tragically," Schaefer explained.

"But we agreed to continue playing the tournament for the sake of Fifa and fair play, which is the motto of Fifa.

"Now Fifa needs to show some fair play too.

"They must give our points back."

Foe collapsed during the Confederations Cup semi-final against Colombia in Lyon and died later.

Cameroon are appealing against Fifa's decision and have told a panel sent to Fifa to plead over the deduction to stay in Switzerland for as long as it takes to reverse the decision.

The six-point deficit is a major blow for Cameroon's hopes of reaching the World Cup for a fifth successive time.

They have been placed in a difficult 2006 World Cup and Nations Cup group alongside Egypt, the Ivory Coast, Sudan, Benin and Libya.

Only the group winners qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

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