Cameroon chaos deepens as Eto’o calls in emergency committee after Brys row

May 29 – Cameroon football has been plunged deeper into crisis off the field after a meeting between federation president Samuel Eto’o and the country’s new Belgian coach Marc Brys turned into an angry showdown.

It was the first time Eto’o (pictured left) was meeting Brys (pictured right), who was appointed by the country’s sports ministry in early April without any input from the Cameroon Football Federation, setting up a standoff between the two.

Brys had been invited for a “working session” by Eto’o as Cameroon prepare for World Cup qualifiers next month but several of his support staff, also appointed by the sports ministry, were refused entry to the FECAFOOT federation building in Yaounde.

Video circulating on several social media sites show Eto’o welcoming Brys but their exchanges quickly turned sour.

Local reports said the conflict came to a head when Eto’o clashed with Cyrille Tollo, the sports minister’s technical advisor, demanding Tollo’s expulsion for interfering with a private discussion.

Eto’o then apparently pressured Brys to choose sides, asserting his authority as president and criticising Brys for perceived mistakes. The tense atmosphere prompted Brys to storm out, leading Eto’o to call for the federation’s emergency committee to intervene.

A statement is expected later from FECAFOOT, who had expressed a willingness to work with the Belgian despite initially slamming his appointment as a unilateral decision by sports minister Narcisse Mouelle Kombito.

Former African Footballer of the Year Eto’o, who had a storied career playing in Europe, has tried to assert some independence but has also had to withstand government interference which is, of course, banned by FIFA.

Cameroon have qualified for eight World Cup tournaments, more than any other African country. They are due to play the Cape Verde Islands in Yaounde on June 8 and Angola away three days later.

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