• Thu. Mar 23rd, 2023

Samuel Eto’o: “Should each region claim its own among our Lions? »

Feb 17, 2022

During his opening speech of the ordinary session of the Executive Committee, this Wednesday in Limbe, the president of Fecafoot, Samuel Eto’o fils, among other things, reproached his comrades for their lack of spirit of solidarity.

We are back on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. After Kribi, welcome to Limbe, the beautiful seaside town that is warm, welcoming and, I hope, conducive to the smooth running of our meeting. I am happier, because it is the first Committee in which I take part in face-to-face. Allow me to thank from the outset our dear Vice-President, Njalla Quan, who perpetuated the tradition of hospitality dear to his father of late memory, for which we have a heartfelt thought, so much the history of the development of the football in this part of Cameroon is linked to his name and his commitment. Thank you Mr. President and dear brother. Thank you to all the members who have kindly honored us with their presence.

Dear members of the Executive Committee,

The news in recent weeks has been dominated by the African Cup of Nations. We have devoted our time and our energies to receiving our guests and to supervising our national selection. Sad news also following the fatal accident at the Stade d’Olembe. Our thoughts go out to the victims of the tragic jostling that mourned this great celebration of continental football. May they find peace in eternal rest.

The tears of this unfortunate event were nevertheless dried by the honorable journey of our dear Indomitable Lions, who were able to give the best of themselves to snatch third place in the tournament. Of course, we would have liked to do better but we submit to the harsh law of sport, and congratulate our Senegalese brothers, who have largely deserved to be champions of Africa.

While waiting to take stock with the specialized technical bodies of our federation and to draw the consequences, we can be proud of our young brothers and our children.

However, some of us, members of the Executive Committee, did not hesitate to criticize this team in private or in public. Their criticisms, sometimes constructive, aimed in particular at the necessary reinforcement of the team spirit which should guide the players. This is normal, because sitting on the Executive Committee does not impose silence on us. No one has the right to blame those who exercise their freedom of thought.

On the other hand, we cannot decry the lack of team spirit within our Lions while, at the same time, we too are falling into the same trap. Right here, within the Executive Committee, everyone wants to dribble, pass, score, be alone in the camera lens, do the classification, comment on the match they are playing themselves, in short, do just the opposite. of what football imposes on us as an obligation, namely, to play collectively.

Dear friends, I assure you that we will not produce any significant results if each of us does not learn to play the role entrusted to him. We must defend when necessary, applaud the teammate who scores the goal, encourage and protect the goalkeeper who takes a goal, assume and accept the choices of the coach, who alone is responsible for defining the system of play, in taking into account the players at his disposal. It can happen that the choices do not please, that they hurt the pride of some. Unfortunately, making painful choices is part of the DNA of our sport. Those who know a little about the discipline that we claim to lead know this.

Ladies and gentlemen,When the national team of Cameroon, whose colors I had the immense privilege of wearing, won, our people were in joy from North to South, from East to West. When she loses, the disappointment that goes through each of us is the same, from Kolofata to Ekondo Titi, from Batouri to Foumban… this joy. Nobody wants to know which region the player who missed his shot on goal comes from.It is therefore inconceivable that Cameroonian football leaders, the very people who have the responsibility of carrying the values ​​of this discipline, engage in the unhealthy game of sorting out players on the basis of ethnicity or the region. This detestable reflex carries with it the destruction of all the values ​​of sport. How can we confuse football and the National Assembly?Should each region claim its own among our Lions? Do we have the right to appropriate the exploits of Vincent Aboubakar because he comes from the same geographical area as us? My conviction is that every daughter and every son of this country, whatever their ethnic or regional origin, is the brother of Vincent Aboubakar. We have a moral duty to distance ourselves from these dangerous games which do not honor football and its values.Although the first person in charge of our federation, I am not resistant to criticism, especially when it is constructive and in good faith. And I have also always placed the management of human resources under the exclusive criterion of competence. But to refute the false allegations that are circulating, here I am obliged to point out that in the number of our personnel, the largest contingent comes from the north of our country.Should we take the calculators, dwell on them and look for balances that do not fit with our objectives and our vision? This will be the first and the last clarification of this nature because I do not intend to let myself be drawn into these debates which are not up to the challenges. The seeds of division have already hurt Cameroonians enough. I intend to fulfill the mandate that the delegates granted me until the end, with the dignity that befits it.Everyone here has received a mandate, not to defend a region, a people or an ethnic group, but to defend football. Define and organize it on the ground, so that the kid from Maroua feels the same emotion as that of Dschang or Sangmelima… it is on this ground that the Cameroonian people are waiting for us.Ladies and gentlemen,By requesting from the Executive Committee a mandate for negotiation and conciliation around the disputes which caused our federation to spend more than 900 million francs during the previous mandate, I was driven by two or three objectives: to make savings, to favor dialogue and bring the football family together. The first results are satisfactory.Mr. Nkou Mvondo, who had obtained a compensation award of 100,000 francs per day since the publication of the award and whose total sums due already amounted to billions, agreed to revise his claim downwards, i.e. a modest lump sum of 20 million, for the interest of football. Mr. Nyassa Soleil, meanwhile, had signed a contract in good and due form with my predecessors and dragged a slate which was not far from 50 million. Nevertheless, he agreed to lower his requirements more than three times.