In or out? Under investigation Eto’o resigns Cameroon FA presidency only to keep the job

February 6 – Cameroon football was plunged into off-the-field confusion when Samuel Eto’o tendered his resignation as president of the country’s FA, only to have it rejected by its executive committee.

Eto’o (pictured), who won the African player of the year a record four times, has been dogged by allegations of improper conduct, match-fixing and corruption.

The federation said its executive committee met in Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé, on Monday to evaluate the national team’s performance at the Africa Cup of Nations, and that the meeting started with Eto’o offering to step down while inviting the other members “to do likewise in good faith”.

“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,” the federation said in a statement, referring to the date Eto’o took over as president.

On the field, Cameroon, five-time African champions, were eliminated from the current tournament in the last 16 by Nigeria.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has for months been investigating what it said were “serious” allegations from “several Cameroonian football stakeholders” against Eto’o. It noted at the time that the former Barcelona and Inter Milan star was “presumed to be innocent until an appropriate judicial body concludes otherwise”.

Eto’o, who represented Cameroon at four World Cups between 1998 and 2014, assumed the presidency amid hopes for reform and progress in the sport.  But in June, 2022, he was handed a 22-month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to a €3.9 million tax fraud relating to his image rights while playing for Barcelona and since becoming president of his federations has constantly been embroiled in  controversy, including signing a personal endorsement for an online bookmaker, as well as being involved in a fracas with a fan at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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