Cameroon request to replace striker rejected

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Holders Cameroon have had their request to replace forward Joel Tagueu, ruled out of the Africa Cup of Nations because of a possible heart defect, rejected by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

However, coach Clarence Seedorf said they would look to appeal the decision, which CAF have not revealed themselves.

“We are not satisfied with the decision. We need to go for it again, we hope there will be a change of position,” he told reporters.

“We did everything we had to do, we made our request 24 hours before the match and we still remain hopeful. It is only fair for CAF to allow us replace the player.”

Tagueu was withdrawn after a medical examination revealed a possible life-threatening heart defect.

The 25-year-old, who plays for Portuguese club Maritimo, had an “anomaly in his coronary artery detected by team doctor William Ngatchou, which risks his life if he were to play,” the Cameroon Football Federation said on Monday.

“On the advice of the doctor, the coach has decided not to risk the player, who is leaving the tournament.”

The doctor first detected the issue when Cameroon held a pre-tournament training camp in Qatar and subsequent examinations confirmed his suspicion.

Africa Cup of Nations regulations state that a player can be replaced up to 24 hours before the first game of the team concerned.

“A player on the final list cannot be replaced unless seriously injured at the latest 24 hours at least before the beginning of the first match of his team,” it says.

Tagueu has however expressed sadness with the news of his health and more especially now that he must give up his place in the team as the Indomitable Lions fight to retain their Africa Cup of Nations title.

Reducing the risk of the unfortunate event of sudden death in the field is one of the main reasons for Tageu’s withdrawal.

Cameroon had already experienced a dark episode exactly 16 years ago in 2003 during the FIFA Confederation Cup in France with the death of Marc-Vivien Foe and are thus not ready to take any risks at the moment .Tagueu hit the net eight times in 30 league appearances of which 24 starts were for his club CS Maritimo in the Portuguese Liga NOS this season