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At 40, former Cameroonian international Samuel Eto’o was elected president of the Cameroon Football Federation on Saturday.
Long a superstar of African football, Samuel Eto’o will start a new life: the former scorer of the Indomitable Lions was elected on Saturday 11 December president of the Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot).
“I will remember this day with pride,” responded Samuel Eto’o on his Twitter account, followed by more than 1.5 million subscribers. “I am honored to be elected head of the Cameroon Football Federation.”
I’ll be remembering today as one of the proudest moments of my life. I’m deeply grateful for to be elected as the new president of @FecafootOfficie. Every vote represents the energy and ambition of our football family to take our beloved sport to a level we’ve never seen before. pic.twitter.com/2z8fjLBMLA
– Samuel Eto’o (@SamuelEtoo) December 11, 2021
The 40-year-old former FC Barcelona and Inter Milan player defeated outgoing president Seidou Mbombo Njoya, who was elected in 2018 but whose election, contested by several Cameroonian football players, had was canceled in mid-January by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Of the 74 votes of the members of the federation, 43 went to Eto’o, a very popular figure in his country, against 31 for the outgoing president.
A total of seven candidates had declared themselves, but three of them withdrew a few days before the poll, giving their support to Samuel Eto’o.
At the announcement of his appointment in a hotel in Yaoundé, the 2000 Olympic champion and two-time winner of the African Cup of Nations with Cameroon exulted, raising his arms to the sky, according to images from CRTV, the television of State, while many of its supporters shouted their joy.
Fight against corruption
When submitting his candidacy on November 17, Samuel Eto’o, also passed through Chelsea and Real Madrid before hanging up his crampons in 2019, assured that he would be the next president of Fecafoot “despite the cheating”. The two-time Champions League winner with Barça had explained that the outgoing team had offered him the post of vice-president, a position he had refused.
“It is time to start the reconstruction of our football,” said the former international, focusing his campaign in particular on the development of women’s football in Cameroon or even the fight against corruption.
In 2018, Eto’o had supported the candidacy of Seidou Mbombo Njoya, but he had expressed his “disappointment”: the promises made three years ago by the current president “seemed to me worthy of interest for the future of our country “, he had justified himself.
The former Cameroonian legend Roger Milla had given him his support, as, in a short message posted on social networks, the superstar Lionel Messi, his former teammate in Barcelona.
CAN in a month
“Samuel Eto’o will face many challenges, including restoring the image of Fecafoot” after corruption scandals, reacted Émile Zola Ndé Tchoussi, journalist and Cameroonian football specialist, interviewed by AFP.
The outgoing president, Seidou Mbombo Njoya, took note of his defeat and congratulated on Twitter Samuel Eto’o, to whom he “wished every success”.
The new president of Fecafoot already has a major appointment on his agenda: in less than a month, Cameroon will host the final phase of the African Cup of Nations from January 9 to February 7, 2022.