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Cameroon boss back players in pay conflict

Press Association logoPress Association 1/02/2017

Cameroon coach Hugo Broos has dismissed claims the pay dispute between his players and the Cameroon Football Federation could derail their bid for Africa Cup of Nations Cup glory.

The Indomitable Lions take on Ghana in Franceville, Gabon, on Thursday for a place in Sunday's final against Egypt.

Broos' side have been dogged by the row throughout the tournament, but remain two games away from becoming African champions for the first time since 2002.

"As a group, we are not happy with the bonus. There is a lack of respect, and I defend my players," Broos told a press conference.

The 64-year-old Belgian, quoted on website www.footballghana.com, added: "Even though we are not happy with the money, we are still putting in good performances on the field."

It is not the first pay row between the African country's footballers and their governing body.

Cameroon's players refused to play in a friendly in 2011 and in 2014 they were late arriving at the World Cup in Brazil due to a similar dispute.

"I don't think we are asking for the world, but what they give us now is not good, really," Broos said.

"We've trained every day. I read in the papers that the players didn't train, but I had given them a free day so it's not because they're not happy with the money.

"And even though we're not happy, we still have good performances on the field."

Cameroon finished second in their group behind Burkina Faso before beating Senegal 5-4 on penalties at the end of a goalless quarter-final and Broos insisted there would be no distractions on Thursday.

"You can be sure that you will see a team that is motivated to beat Ghana," he said.

"If we lose it will not be because the money is not good, it will be because Ghana was stronger than us."

Ghana also finished second in their group, behind Egypt, after some disappointing performances and only came to life in the second half of their 2-1 quarter-final win against DR Congo.

The Black Stars are four-time winners of the African Nations Cup, but - despite reaching the semi-finals in each of the last five tournaments - they have not lifted the trophy since 1982 and also lost to Cameroon on home soil in the 2008 semi-finals.

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