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Cameroon’s Eto’o sparks controversy with national team amid World Cup qualifiers

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As Cameroon prepares to face Angola in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers at the 11 November National Stadium in Luanda, tensions within the team have escalated dramatically. This follows a series of contentious actions by Samuel Eto’o, the president of the Cameroonian Football Federation (Fécafoot).

Pre-Match Turmoil

The Indomitable Lions entered this match on the back of an impressive 4-1 victory over Cape Verde, marking a strong start under new coach Marc Brys.

However, the team’s focus was disrupted when they received a stern letter from Eto’o.

The letter, reportedly sent under Eto’o’s direct orders, demanded that the players adhere strictly to Fécafoot’s program rather than that of the Ministry of Sports (Minsep).

Eto’o, who has been at odds with Minsep, threatened disciplinary action from FIFA if his directives were not followed.

Financial Tensions

The controversy deepened with allegations reported by Camfoot, suggesting that Eto’o attempted to withhold the players’ bonuses as leverage in his power struggle with Minsep.

Normally, these bonuses are deposited into the players’ accounts before the start of their training camp.

However, under Eto’o’s orders, the release of these funds was delayed, causing significant unrest among the players.

Despite Eto’o’s efforts, Minsep managed to ensure the bonuses were paid on June 6, just days before the crucial qualifier against Angola.

This intervention by Minsep thwarted Eto’o’s plan, but it left a sour taste among the team members who felt manipulated and used as pawns in the ongoing feud.

Players’ Response

Frustrated by the ongoing power struggle and feeling betrayed by Eto’o’s tactics, the players have seemingly sided with Minsep.

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Since arriving in Angola, the team has predominantly used equipment provided by Minsep, deliberately avoiding the gear supplied by Fécafoot, except for the footballs necessary for training and match preparations.

This decision by the players to openly support Minsep over Fécafoot indicates a significant rift within the Cameroonian football structure.

It reflects the players’ weariness of being caught in the crossfire of administrative conflicts and their desire to focus on their performance on the field without undue interference.

Looking Ahead

As Cameroon faces Angola, the backdrop of administrative discord looms large. The team’s ability to maintain focus and cohesion in the midst of such turmoil will be critical to their success.

The players’ stand against Eto’o’s controversial actions highlights their resilience and unity, aiming to ensure that their World Cup qualifying campaign remains on track despite the distractions off the pitch.

The outcome of this match and the ongoing conflict within the football administration could have significant implications for the future dynamics of Cameroonian football, both on and off the field.

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