A week after the start of the alleged match-fixing scandal in Cameroon's soccer championship, the Fécafoot president's teams have come out in force.
In recent days, the Cameroon Football Federation (Fécafoot) has been rocked by a resounding scandal involving its president. Allegations of match-fixing in the national championship have been made against him. This has led to a series of accusations of favoritism and ethical violations.
To respond to these allegations, Fécafoot president Samuel Eto'o chose to speak through his spokesman, Ernest Obama. The latter was the guest on a special program broadcast on local television channel Canal 2 International. He was keen to clarify a number of sensitive points.
On the audio affair
The bad wind blowing through Fécafoot is rooted in a leaked telephone recording. The recording features two voices similar to those of Samuel Eto'o and the president of the Victoria United club. According to the rumours, the president of the Federation had manoeuvred to facilitate the club's promotion to the first division, thus raising suspicions about the integrity of the championship. But all this is false, according to his spokesman.
We were amazed to discover this sound element on social networks," confides Ernest Obama. It's a fake, and as far as we're concerned, it doesn't exist. So there's no need to comment on it," insists the Fécafoot boss's spokesman. "One of the accused persons in this supposed sound bite reacted first with a press release and then a press conference. He said it was a fabricated sound bite. He added that his lawyers are currently preparing a legal complaint to have his honor restored", he continued.
The André Onana affair
Accusations have also been levelled at the Fécafoot president concerning the sidelining of Cameroon goalkeeper André Onana at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The controversy flared up, with insinuations of personal decision-making regarding the selection of players, while manager-selector Rigobert Song was said to have ultimate responsibility in the matter.
At Fécafoot, this is simply a false debate.
"André Onana is like a son to the president of the Federation.It's a father-son relationship.Cameroon's manager-selector to date is Rigobert Song.And he has said that the doors are open.Why are you trying to put Mr. Eto'o on trial? It's not the president of Fécafoot who selects the players; it's the manager-selector", explains Ernest Obama.
The contract with 1XBet
The other high-profile case is linked to the ambassador contract that the Fécafoot president signed with the sports betting company 1XBet. Cameroonian club managers are accusing Eto'o of violating FIFA's Code of Ethics.
The Code prohibits soccer players and manaers from "taking part - directly or indirectly - in betting activities, lotteries and other similar money games or transactions in connection with soccer competitions and matches and/or any activity associated with soccer".
In this regard, the spokesperson defended Samuel Eto'o's position as brand ambassador for 1XBet, arguing that the former Indomitable Lions captain has the right to profit from his image.Mr. Eto'o has an image that sells," says Ernest Obama. Mr. Eto'o is an ambassador for 1XBet. Since the signing of this contract, there are no more matches from Cameroonian championships on the 1XBet platform. Mr. Eto'o is first and foremost an entity. There's no need to sue Mr Eto'o because he's a 1XBet ambassador. He has the right to make money from his image. Except that, in the meantime, FIFA is investigating the contract, while clubs in Cameroon are calling for the resignation of the Fécafoot Executive Committee.