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Last Updated: Monday, 17 May, 2004, 10:54 GMT 11:54 UK
Blatter turns down Cameroon's plea
Exclusive by Osasu Obayiuwana
BBC Sport

Fifa president Sepp Blatter
Blatter said Cameroon challenged Fifa's authority

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has said that he cannot help Cameroon get a reversal of the decision that could rule them out of the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany.

The world football governing body deducted six points from their final qualifying campaign, which starts next month, for refusing to change their illegal kit at the African Cup of Nations in Tunisia.

"The ambassador of Cameroon has already come to see me and I have told them that the matter is now in their hands," Blatter told BBC Sport in an exclusive interview in Zurich.

I have no influence over the decision
Fifa president Sepp Blatter

"I have no influence [over the decision]. There is a very strict separation of powers in Fifa.

"There is the legislative, the executive and the jurisdictional organisations."

Blatter advised the Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot) to seek redress from the appropriate legal authority.

"They can take the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, to see if they can review the situation," the Fifa president said.

Blatter, who spoke to BBC Sport after the decision to select South Africa as the hosts of the 2010 World Cup finals, said the four-time African champions are the architects of their current misfortune.

"Cameroon's action was considered as indiscipline.

"The deduction of points or let's say sporting sanctions, was made because they did not fulfil their own promises.

Fecafoot president Mohammed Iya
Fecafoot did not defend their case before Fifa's disciplinary committee

"They said that after the three [group matches at the African Cup of Nations in Tunisia] they would not wear the offending equipment but they did.

"When we asked them why they did that, they did not bother to reply us."

Blatter claimed that Cameroon deliberately violated Fifa rules even when they had kit that would have been in line with the existing regulations on playing apparel.

"They sent us a copy of a letter from their sports equipment manufacturer that they could not organise shirts. But we know that shirts were available.

"It is a challenge to the authority of Fifa and this is the matter," Blatter said.

Should the Court of Arbitration for Sport uphold Fifa's sanctions on Cameroon, their chances of qualifying for the World Cup in Germany are very remote.

They are competing with the Ivory Coast and Egypt, both regarded as serious contenders, for the only qualifying spot in Group Three.

Libya, Sudan and Benin are the other teams in the group.

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