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Tuesday, 28 May, 2002, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Paper publishes 'strike details'
Patrick Mboma in training
Cameroon promised the country a great World Cup

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The Cameroon newspaper La Nouvelle Expression claims to have uncovered the details behind the strike which kept the Indomitable Lions in Paris for two days after they were due to fly to Japan.

According to the paper, the players took action because they felt they had been denied a share in the profits from two of their pre-World Cup friendlies, against Argentina in Geneva and Denmark.

They accused the management of Lucidio Ribeiro, proprietor of the pan-African magazine Afrique Football, of taking the money and forgetting about them.

The management allegedly collected $75,000 in Geneva, where the Argentina game took place, and $100,000 in Vienna.

The players were apparently going to strike in Geneva, but were placated by some of the older members of the team.

In addition, players who were not yet sure of their place in the 23 for Japan were at that point afraid to take any action that could lead to their exclusion for indiscipline.

But, when the final squad got together in Paris, it seems the 23 confirmed Lions decided to put their grievances forward, demanding "all premiums before departure".

The players demanded 30 million Cameroon dollars in cash, as well as the amount already on offer for any victories and draws recorded in the course of the competition.

They urged their technical crew to join them in the protest and demand their own payments.

Informed of the strike in Paris, Youth and Sports Minister Bidoung Mpkatt travelled to France, where he met with the players to try and resolve the problem.

With their premiums paid, the players thanked the Minister for his intervention and promised to put their best in Japan.

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GROUP E
  P GD PTS
GERMANY 3 +10 7
IRELAND 3 +3 5
CAMEROON 3 -1 4
SAUDI ARABIA 3 -12 0

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