Samuel Eto’o and the Cameroonian National Team Saga
Ever since the legendary forward became president of the Cameroonian Football Federation, he has been radical with his style of leadership, sacking inefficient staff of the football governing body.
●1st January 2023
Samuel Eto’o Fils continues to be a very powerful person in his home country Cameroon, but there are concerns that he, as head of the Cameroon Football Federation, is overstepping his bounds. During his time as a footballer the legendary forward represented the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon on 118 occasions, scoring 56 goals and winning two Africa Cup of Nations trophies.
The 41-year-old was also instrumental to Cameroon’s triumph at the 2000 Olympics football tournament. He became the first African footballer to win four CAF Footballer Of The Year awards (2003, 2004, 2005 and 2010). Eto’o who was a star at FC Barcelona became the president of the Cameroonian Football Federation also known as FECAFOOT on 11 December 2021.Ever since then Eto’o has been radical with his style of leadership, with him sacking inefficient staff of the football governing body.
The success he recorded in his active days has however made him to be so ambitious and wanting to take charge of the tactics and team selection. It is not out of place to attend team training or have words of motivation with the players but interfering with the tactical aspect of the team while it’s not his duty is not good enough. According to TyC News, a renowned sports news outlet, during the announcement of the FIFA World Cup squad, journalists had to ask Rigobert Song, the national team manager, to repeat himself because the last name of a player was not understood.
Song, according to the report, took several seconds to get the pronunciation right after the intervention of a collaborator. The publication claims the list might have been put together by Eto’o, with some newspapers in Cameroon labeling Song, a puppet of the former Inter Milan striker.
At the just concluded World Cup, issues concerning team selection raised eyebrows and fans have voiced out their displeasure. A fan wrote: “And if it’s true that Eto’o is interfering in the job of Rigobert Song, then it’s sad. You’re the FA president, allow the coach to do his job. I hate when Federation presidents interfere in what the coach is doing. It happens all the time here in Nigeria.”
Another added: “I feel like Eto’o n Song tryna be the face of the NT instead of the current players but me no know anything.”
Cameroon however suffered an early exit from the FIFA World Cup after racking up four points from three games.