Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images.
CAF Investigates Allegations Against Samuel Eto'o, President of Fecafoot
Samuel Eto'o, president of the Cameroonian Football Federation, has come under scrutiny for taking on a position with a sports betting company.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has initiated an investigation into allegations of misconduct attributed to Samuel Eto'o, the esteemed figure presiding over the Cameroonian Football Federation (Fecafoot). Eto'o, renowned for his illustrious career with Barcelona and Inter Milan, assumed the leadership of Fecafoot in December 2021. However, concerns have arisen regarding the 42-year-old's stewardship of the organization.
A notable contingent consisting of eleven members from the Association of Amateur Football Clubs in Cameroon (ACFAC), led by President M. Balla Ongolo Henri Claude, has vociferously demanded Eto'o's relinquishment of his Fefafoot presidency. This mounting pressure stems from concerns about Eto'o's leadership.
The legality of Eto'o's acceptance of an ambassadorial position with a betting company has been called into question by the clubs, as it potentially runs afoul of regulations set forth by both FIFA and Fecafoot.
FIFA's stringent guidelines explicitly prohibit individuals under its jurisdiction from engaging in any form of betting, gambling, lotteries, or analogous activities linked to football matches or tournaments.
Transgressions of these regulations carry the potential for penalties or sanctions, including fines and restrictions on involvement in football-associated endeavors. These clubs have called upon Cameroon's sports minister to intervene and have even raised the possibility of involving FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
CAF has issued a statement acknowledging receipt of written statements from various Cameroonian football stakeholders. The governing body has committed to scrutinizing these pleas in compliance with CAF's established statutes and regulations. While the allegations appear grave on initial inspection, CAF underscores the principle of Eto'o's presumption of innocence until proven otherwise by a relevant judicial authority.
Adding to his predicament, recent reports hint at potential legal ramifications, including the prospect of legal proceedings and potential incarceration. Eto'o, a four-time African Footballer of the Year awardee, boasts a decorated career that includes three UEFA Champions League titles and 115 appearances representing Cameroon, culminating in two Africa Cup of Nations victories with the Indomitable Lions. The unfolding situation underscores the complex interplay between Eto'o's football legacy and his current challenges within the administrative realm.