- Cameroon’s president Paul Biya has instructed top national security officials to investigate the involvement of Samuel Eto’o and crew of over 40 persons in a match-fixing scandal
- The scandal is engulfed around the promotion of Victoria United FC top the top-flight
- Victoria United’s president Nkwain Valentine as well Samuel Eto’o have been summoned
- Football stakeholders are also pressuring FIFA and CAF to act on the matter
Former Barcelona forward, Samuel Eto’o Fils is a subject of police investigation over allegations of match-fixing in collaboration with a number of stakeholders back in Cameroon.
The 42-year-old current president of the Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT) is being investigated alongside over 40 other persons in connection to match results manipulation and fixing in the second tier of Cameroon football during the 2022/23 season.
According to a summon served to a number of persons in connection to the allegation, Eto’o, Nkwain Valentine of Victoria United FC, Ndazeh Valery of FECAFOOT Southwest, among others are expected to appear for questioning.
Per our findings, some Journalists, Lawyers, club presidents, current Referees and former Referees as well as footballers have been summoned on instructions from president Paul Biya and government probe into the matter.
Reports from multiple sources have it that the investigations are geared towards unearthing Eto’o’s involvement and other parties in arguably the biggest match-fixing scandal in Cameroon’s football history, which centered on the promise to promote Victoria United FC to the top-flight.
Eto’o, who has been president of FECAFOOT since December 2021 has come under huge scrutiny since an alleged audio of him promising promotion of Victoria United to its president, Nkwain Valentine leaked on social media two months ago.
In the heat of that moment, both took contrasting positions about the leaked voice note. Nkwain initially denied it was his voice, but later suit their ex-ally – Njalla Quan Jnr for allegedly hacking his phone to get personal content while Eto’o’s entourage disowned the audio days after he had admitted he instructed president Foko Stephane Kamga vis-a-vis Victoria United aka OPOPO.
“In a conversation in which I wanted to protect the President of OPOPO, who invests his money and wanted to quit football because some of you don’t do your work, I pleaded and called the President of the referees association Mr Foko and told him this man puts a lot of money in football and so we cannot send referees to kill this man who wants just one thing, have one of the best teams in our league,” Samuel Eto’o said in an August meeting in Yaoundé.
In the same alleged Eto’o – Nkwain audio that leaked days before the same meeting, Eto’o is heard saying: ‘There are things we can do, but you have to be very discreet, brother.’
“Don’t worry, we’ll give you your three points and we will suspend the referee. Opopo [Victoria’s nickname] must go up to the first division. This is our goal. This is our federation with two others. Victoria United will go up.”
In August this year, CAF opened an investigation related to Samuel Eto’o’s involvement in the issue and his link to 1XBet which he signed up for as Brand Ambassador. So far, no action has been taken against the ex-Everton and Sampodia hitman.
The delay in publication of the CAF findings has prompted a number of key stakeholders, including General Pierre Semengue to constitute and write to FIFA and CAF requesting clarification.
This letter not only brought up the recent match-fixing allegations involving Eto’o, but also mentioned the suspended prison sentence the Mallorca and Real Madrid finisher received in a tax fraud case in Spain, a violent incident in which Eto’o violently attacked a YouTuber during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar [a tournament which he was ambassador], and the ex-Barcelona star’s ambassadorial role with sports betting company, 1XBET. The letter read:
“Not a word has been heard from FIFA, despite numerous complaints and reminders from Cameroonian football actors. How can FIFA continue to remain silent in the face of so many scandals that compromise public confidence in sporting ethics and the sincerity of matches?”
The letter continued:
“The sad reality … is that Africa remains a kind of enclave where you can take liberties with the ethics and exemplarity that sports leaders should embody. Can you imagine FIFA and UEFA remaining silent when the president of a European football federation is suspected of match-fixing, with audio recordings to back it up?”
FIFA is yet to issue a statement about the series of allegations. There have been unconfirmed reports that Eto’o is lobbying for president Macky Sall of Senegal, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Felix Antoine of the DR Congo to intervene and obtain president Gianni Infantino’s FIFA clemency for him.
Earlier this month, Eto’o was pictured in Paris with the FIFA president via photos he shared and stated they met to discuss ‘football development’.
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