In a surprising turn of events, the Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT) has refused to accept Samuel Eto’o’s resignation as the federation’s president.
The former Barcelona striker had tendered his resignation just days after Cameroon’s disappointing exit from the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) at the hands of Nigeria.
Despite Samuel Eto’o’s offer to step down during an executive committee meeting convened to evaluate the AFCON campaign, FECAFOOT members unanimously rejected his resignation. The federation released a statement expressing their decision to maintain their current mandates, renewing their confidence in Eto’o to continue the reconstruction and development of Cameroon football.
“At the end of discussions and subsequent deliberations, the members of the executive committee decided to maintain their current mandates and thus unanimously rejected the president’s resignation thereby renewing their confidence in him to continue with the same spirit of reconstruction and development of Cameroon football at all levels as envisaged in his plan adopted by the elective general assembly of Dec. 11, 2021.”
While Eto’o’s resignation initially seemed linked to the AFCON disappointment, insiders suggest that it may be a strategic move to address the serious allegations against him.
The Athletic recently reported on WhatsApp messages and audio recordings allegedly supporting accusations of match-fixing, abuse of power, threats, incitement of violence, and spreading false information in Cameroon.
FIFA has received a detailed file outlining the allegations, and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) is also conducting an investigation. Eto’o was already under scrutiny by CAF over allegations from various Cameroonian football stakeholders. However, he is presumed innocent until a proper judicial body concludes otherwise.
Despite the cloud of controversy surrounding Eto’o, he has received backing from his FECAFOOT colleagues.
During his illustrious career as a Cameroon international, Eto’o scored 56 goals in 118 appearances and participated in four World Cups. He still holds the record for the most African Player of the Year awards, with four accolades.
The situation continues to unfold as FIFA and CAF investigate the allegations against Eto’o, leaving the football community in suspense about the future leadership of Cameroon’s football federation.