Samuel Eto’o watches warm-up before International Champions Cup soccer match (Image: AP)
Cameroon soccer federation president and former star player Samuel Eto’o is being investigated by the Confederation of African Football for alleged “improper conduct.”
The former Barcelona and Inter Milan forward was elected to a four-year term in December 2021 but the initial euphoria that greeted his reforms is giving way to accusations of clientelism and unfulfilled financial promises to clubs.
The sport’s governing body in Africa said “several Cameroonian football stakeholders” have complained and that it will “investigate certain alleged improper conduct” by Eto’o. CAF described the allegations as “serious” but noted that Eto’o ”is presumed to be innocent until an appropriate judicial body concludes otherwise.”
Eto’o’s lawyer, Elame Bonny, said Thursday that his client was surprised at CAF’s move given that he received no prior notification of accusations. Bonny further described CAF’s move as “hasty, pernicious and toxic,” and he threatened legal action.
Cameroon’s soccer federation posted Bonny’s letter on its social media channels and marked it as “urgent.”
Questions have been raised in Cameroon about the 42-year-old Eto’o’s ambassadorial role with a sports betting company. At least one club has complained to the Cameroonian federation about the deal and whether it violates the institution’s codes.
Cameroonian soccer had plenty of problems in the past. Before Eto’o was elected president, the national league had been tainted by interference from the government, allegations of corruption and unkept promises from soccer leaders.
Eto’o played at four World Cups for Cameroon between 1998 and 2014.
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