Fécafoot: Threats hanging over Samuel Eto’o 0

The next few months are likely to be turbulent for Samuel Eto’o, the president of the Cameroon Football Federation, with the CAS proceedings concerning the vacancy in his post, suspicions of a breach of the FIFA Code of Ethics and the legal battle being waged by professional clubs.

The future of the Cameroon Football Federation (Fécafoot) looks uncertain. The next few months promises to be tumultuous, particularly for Samuel Eto’o. Various threats are hanging over his mandate, jeopardising his position at the head of Cameroon’s football governing body.

Proceedings underway before CAS

Legal proceedings are currently underway before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). It follows a challenge to the resolutions of the General Assembly of 27 August 2022. The main issue is the legitimacy of Samuel Eto’o as president of Fécafoot, calling into question the convening of the meeting. According to his opponents, Eto’o “ceased to be president of Fécafoot on 20 June 2022, the date on which he was sentenced in Spain to 22 months in prison for tax fraud”.

The case was brought before CAS by Guibaï Gatama and certain members of the General Assembly. A hearing was held on 7 June 2023. CAS now has 120 days to render its verdict. If Samuel Eto’o is declared unfit to lead Fécafoot, this should result in a power vacuum.

Eto’o targeted by FIFA investigation?

There is a second threat hanging over Samuel Eto’o. It relates to questions of ethics and integrity. Sport News Africa has learned that a number of cases have been brought against the Cameroonian football boss before the ethical jurisdictions of CAF and FIFA.

One of these cases relates to the contract that the president of Fécafoot recently signed with a sports betting company, appointing him as the company’s ambassador. “This investigation is being conducted in confidence and the results could have far-reaching consequences if the facts exposed are proven to be in breach of FIFA’s Code of Ethics,” warns a former Fécafoot employee.

Tussle between Fécafoot and professional clubs

Internally, the Fécafoot presidency is facing a poisonous atmosphere. Unfulfilled promises, poor performances by national teams, dysfunction at federal level and suspicions of wheeling and dealing denounced by club presidents and other players are all causing anger. Most of the clubs in the professional leagues have launched a protest movement.

The problems raised concern refereeing, manoeuvres favouring certain clubs, and the non-payment in full of the subsidies announced. “Of the 48 million CFA francs earmarked for each club in the first division this season, for example, only 33 million have been paid,” says a club president from Elite One. He also points to the “incompetence of the championship organisers”.

Clubs call for an audit

Faced with these problems, some clubs have expressed their desire to leave the championship organised by Fécafoot and are calling for the Professional Football League (LFPC) to be rehabilitated. They are also demanding an audit of the funds granted to Fécafoot by the top sponsors of professional leagues. They are also demanding an audit of the state subsidy. The latter are reportedly ready to boycott the next season if their demands are not met. Given their considerable numbers, Fécafoot and Samuel Eto’o find themselves in a delicate situation.

Source: Sports News Africa