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Samuel Eto’o at FECAFOOT: A Mandate Strewn with Pitfalls, Managerial Amateurism

By September 14, 2023No Comments
Samuel Eto'o Fils, FECAFOOT President in turmoil

The arrival of Samuel Eto’o Fils at the head of the Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT) aroused both hope and skepticism within the Cameroonian football community. While some saw the footballing icon as a catalyst for positive change, others, like Abdourahmane Hamadou, the president of Etoile Filante de Garoua, expressed deep doubts about the success of his tenure.

For Abdourahmane Hamadou, it would be “miraculous” if Samuel Eto’o managed to carry out his mandate at FECAFOOT. This statement cannot be ignored, especially since it comes from a respected figure in Cameroonian football.

The multiple challenges that Samuel Eto’o faces ever since he took the reins of power at FECAFOOT are impressive. FECAFOOT is mired in legal disputes and cascading controversies, some of these cases being brought before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and the Confederation of African Football (CAF). These problems are not to be underestimated, as they affect the stability and credibility of the federation.

The local and regional elections within FECAFOOT were the starting point of numerous controversies, leading to disputes that could potentially drag on in court. Additionally, contract disputes with coaches and other administrative matters added to the complexity of the situation.

Abdourahmane Hamadou does not hide his concern about the future of Cameroonian football. He believes that if Samuel Eto’o continues on this trajectory, football in Cameroon could be seriously compromised. This is a serious warning that highlights the major issues facing FECAFOOT and raises the crucial question of Samuel Eto’o’s ability to meet these challenges effectively.

The arrival of Samuel Eto’o as president of FECAFOOT was accompanied by high hopes for reform and improvement of Cameroonian football. His supporters say the reforms have been fast in coming.

“The players now have salaries every month. The previous team (of FECAFOOT management) failed to do this and Eto’o has also tripled the budget of FECAFOOT,” said Christian Awah.

“More and more people now go to the field to watch football compared to before where people would rather stay at home and watch football on TV,” added Sonia Feh.

But his critics line up his failures in stark contrasts to these shouts of praise.

“As a footballer, Eto’o was on top of the world, but playing the game isn’t the same thing as management. He could go down as the worst football manager Cameroon has ever had,” said Nji Paul.

He explained that in barely a year of Eto’o’s tenure, the Federation has had more court cases than at any other time in history, and the federation has generally lost all those cases. He said Eto’o’s predecessors knew how to easily handle misunderstandings in house without escalating situations to get to court. He accused Eto’o of engaging in arbitrary suspension of people who criticize him.

It is, therefore, clear that the road will be strewn with pitfalls. The success of his mandate will depend on his ability to manage these challenges brilliantly and to implement positive reforms for football in Cameroon. The doubt expressed by Abdourahmane Hamadou is a reminder that the road ahead will be far from easy, and that success can only be guaranteed through concrete actions and skillful management of FECAFOOT.

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