Indomitable Lions: Samuel Eto’o and MINSEP at it again 0

The Cameroon football scene has become entrenched in a crisis with no immediate resolution in sight.

The language between Samuel Eto’o, FECAFOOT, and MINSEP has notably changed since the Marc Brys affair. Tensions remain high despite the FIFA window for World Cup 2026 qualifiers and the “Indomitable Lions’” relatively favorable results.

President Paul Biya had promised a significant aggiornamento during his February 10, 2024 address to the youth, but this transformation seems distant. Initially touted as a major turning point for Cameroonian football, this project is now mired in an open conflict between the Ministry of Sports and Physical Education (MINSEP) and the Cameroonian Football Federation (FECAFOOT).

Recently, Joseph-Antoine Bell, an iconic figure in Cameroonian football as a former goalkeeper and astute observer of the Indomitable Lions, criticized President Biya’s apparent silence amidst the power struggle between FECAFOOT and MINSEP. This dispute, which has fueled discussions for weeks, was central to Bell’s remarks on the late-night program “La Vérité en Face” on Équinoxe TV. Bell criticized FECAFOOT while explaining why President Biya, aged 90, seems relatively indifferent to the intense conflict over the national team’s staff.

According to the former Olympique de Marseille player, Biya’s prolonged silence may be strategic, potentially paving the way for future sanctions: “Do not expect the Head of State to meddle in quarrels every day. He has spoken (…) He will calmly judge who listens, who understands, who does not understand. When he returns, it will be to strike,” he declared.

The former Cameroonian international suggests that Samuel Eto’o, president of FECAFOOT, could be under presidential scrutiny, though not explicitly named. Bell believes that Biya had granted full authority to MINSEP in his national address following the Indomitable Lions’ dramatic elimination in the 2023 AFCON round of 16.

The Cameroon’s tarnished image, divided public

This conflict has significantly damaged the country’s international image in recent months, heightening tensions within Cameroonian football. According to Paul Moutila, the crisis shows no signs of abating in Cameroon. The core of the dispute is far from what everyone thinks. Indeed, one must go back to the era of the previous coach. This new revelation complicates matters. It is entrusted that the dismissal of Rigobert Song after the disappointing performances of the Indomitable Lions at the 2023 AFCON in Côte d’Ivoire has only worsened tensions.

The choice of a new coach has become a real tug-of-war between the two institutions, each claiming authority from the “Very High Presidential Instructions.” This quarrel has left Cameroonians deeply disillusioned. On social media, debates have become bitter, escalating into a virtual war of invective and accusations. Cameroon’s once-proud footballing nation image is now tarnished. The international press has not hesitated to report on these internal conflicts, contributing to national embarrassment.

Despite this chaotic atmosphere, the Indomitable Lions have managed to rebound with a resounding victory over Cape Verde (4-1) and a creditable draw against Angola (1-1). However, these successes fail to mask the underlying problems. It is imperative to end these sterile disputes and focus on the real goal: the development of Cameroonian football and the satisfaction of supporters. MINSEP and FECAFOOT must transcend their differences and cooperate for the good of national football.

Culled from Africa Sports