Home » Crisis In FECAFOOT: Those Who Think Samuel Eto’o Is New In Conflicts At FECAFOOT Must Think Again

Crisis In FECAFOOT: Those Who Think Samuel Eto’o Is New In Conflicts At FECAFOOT Must Think Again

by Lesley Ngwa
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  • The Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT) has been a Mafia house, has not changed, and is not likely to change for many years to come

  • Eto’o Was Involved in the Fight Against the Iya Mohamed, Tombi a Roko and Seidou Mbombo Njoya – led Executive Committees

The true story of Samuel Eto’o and Seidou Mbombo Njoya as regard FECAFOOT, is that of a kingmaker who got angry at one point, and grabbed the throne for himself

From the look of things, many supporters of the President of FECAFOOT, Samuel Eto’o Fils, in the ongoing crisis rocking the Federation , either do not know him well as regard his involvement in conflicts at the Federation, or have been blinded by ‘Eto’omania’.

The truth is that one of the major sources of the problems Eto’o is facing today as President of FECAFOOT is his past. That is, the consequences of his involvement in past fights at FECAFOOT, starting way back in the year 2010. He knows that very well.

There are two camps that are currently up in arms against Eto’o as FECAFOOT President. There is a camp comprised of persons that supported Eto’o at the 2021 FECAFOOT Elections, but that for one reason or the other, especially his style of management, have fallen out with him.


The other camp is either comprised or supported by persons that Eto’o directly or indirectly fought against their groups in the past, when they were in control of FECAFOOT. This camp is very and determined, and will stop at nothing until Eto’o falls from the office of President of FECAFOOT. To this camp, it is a game of REVENGE, it is their time to REVENGE, and nothing like reconciliation can work for them.

One of the reasons that this camp of REVENGE is strong in their fight, is that they know FECAFOOT so well, having been in charge in the past. They have copies of important documents, they have strong contacts, they have loyalists and good sources inside Eto’o’s FECAFOOT. And so they know the details of happenings at FECAFOOT, especially scandals and the shortcomings of the President of the Federation.

The Story Of The Kingmaker Who Became King

When in 2021 Samuel Eto’o Fils declared his intention to run for the post of President of FECAFOOT, I wrote and posted an article on the social media, titled: The Kingmaker Now Wants To Become King.

In the article I disclosed that Eto’o Fils’ relation with the President of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, led to the appointment of his man, Barrister Dieudonne Happi, as President of the Normalisation Committee of FECAFOOT. That gave Eto’o some influence over the Normalization Committee. When it got to the point where the Normalization Committee had to organize elections at FECAFOOT, Eto’o put up a candidate in the person of his then friend, Seidou Mbombo Njoya.

I went on to explain how the presence of Happi in the leadership position of the Normalisation Committee that organised the 2018 FECAFOOT Elections, helped to get Eto’o’s candidate in the election, Seidou Mbombo Njoya, to the office of President of FECAFOOT. And that Benjamin Didier Banlock, that Seidou Mbombo Njoya appointed Secretary General of the Federation, was Eto’o’s friend and choice for that post. These days Eto’o doesn’t want to see Banlock who has been tasked by government to check excesses via his recent appointment as General Coordinator of all national football teams.

Eto’o had seemingly hoped to be the driver of the vehicle from the back seat. But after some time, Seidou Mbombo Njoya apparently wanted to exert his independence as President of FECAFOOT, and stopped listening to Eto’o.

The Kingmaker Becomes Angry

Eto’o got angry and the two friends fell out. Eto’o finally decided to run for the post of President of FECAFOOT, against his former friend, or better still against the man he made President of FECAFOOT. The Kingmaker now wanted the throne; he now wanted to become king himself.
When I wrote that article, some Eto’o’s fans had their doubts, because to then they thought he had never had anything to do with FECAFOOT before, except the player – Federation relationship when he was a player of the national team, especially when he was captain. This showed that they were supporting somebody they thought they knew well, when in reality they knew very little or nothing about him.

Eto’o’s Close Friend, Franck Happi, Confirmed My Story

Suffice to say that Franck Soho Fanguen Happi, one of Eto’o’s close friends that was member of his campaign team for the FECAFOOT elections of December 11, 2021, vindicated me when he was guest in a flagship programme at Canal 2 International known as L’ARENE, in the evening of Sunday, December 12, 2021. That was the day following their election victory.

In response to a question as to what happened that Samuel Eto’o turned against Seidou Mbombo Njoya whose candidature he supported at the 2018 FECAFOOT elections, Franck Happi who is the former President of Union Douala, disclosed that in early 2018, Eto’o brought a number of them together. He said they constituted a small group to reflect and come up with a good project for the management of FECAFOOT. Other members of the group included Seidou Mbombo Njoya, Gilbert Kadji, and a few others.

Franck Happi, said when they were working on the project, he did not know who amongst them would be candidate for the post of President of FECAFOOT. He said when later Eto’o told him that the candidate would be Seidou Mbombo Njoya, he strongly opposed the decision. He said he insisted to Eto’o that Seidou did not have the capacity to run FECAFOOT, but that Eto’o insisted that Seidou was the candidate. Happi said he left the group and moved over to support the candidature of Bell Joseph Antoine. Of course Happi was not surprised that Seidou Mbombo Njoya ‘won’ the elections, and so became the President of FECAFOOT.

From Friends To Enemies

But Franck Happi further disclosed when after sometimes Eto’o got very disappointed and angry with Seidou Mbombo Njoya as FECAFOOT President. He said Eto’o came and admitted to him (Happi) that he was right to have opposed the candidature of Seidou. That was how Eto’o , Happi and a number of other friends now constituted a new group and launched a fight to throw out Seidou and his group from FECAFOOT. It should be noted that in the course of the fight, Seidou Mbombo Njoya, sacked Eto’o’s man, Benjamin Didier Banlock, from the post of Secretary General of FECAFOOT, on the allegation that he was secretly working for the interest of Eto’o , instead of been loyal to him (Seidou). After leaving FECAFOOT, Banlock immediately joined the Eto’o group to fight the Seidou group. This is how mafia operates.

Finally came the December 11, 2021 elections at FECAFOOT, and Samuel Eto’o Fils emerged as the new President of the Federation, after having beaten hi is former friend, Seidou Mbombo Njoya . Eto’o’s group had won the fight, and he thus became President of FECAFOOT.

Compensation Of Friends With Appointments

The new President of FECAFOOT, Samuel Eto’o, went on to compensate his friends that joined him to fight his former friend, Seidou Mbombo Njoya, with appointments at FECAFOOT. Eto’o reappointed his Bassa brother and friend, Benjamin Didiier Banlock, as Secretary General of FECAFOOT, damming criticisms that it was not fair or good for the President and Secretary General of the Federation, that is, the first two top posts in the Federation, to be people from the same tribe.

Such a thing had before then never happened in FECAFOOT. But it looks like to Eto’o, reappointment of Banlock to post of Secretary General, was also meant as a challenge to the former President of FECAFOOT, Seidou Mbombo Njoya , who sacked him because of their relationship.

Meanwhile Eto’o appointed Franck Soho Fanguen Happ, as Director of Football Development at FECAFOOT. This is how FECAFOOT operates, like a mafia, and Eto’o had since fitted in.

Mafia Maintained Union Douala in Elite 1!

It should also be noted that in the midst of the euphoria that greeted he election of Samuel Eto’o as President of FECAFOOT, an apparent mafia game took place to maintain Union Douala in the Premier League. Before the FECAFOOT elections in December 2021, the First Division Championship of 22 clubs had ended for the 2021 season, with the bombshell being that the historic club, Union Douala, was one of the three clubs that had be demoted to the Second Division League.

Union Sportive of Douala starting XI against Fovu

The President General of Union Douala under which the club sank to that position, was Eto’o’s close friend, Franck Soho Fanguen Happi. At the end of the league season, Franck Happi came under scathing criticisms and verbal attacks from supporters of Union Douala, for having led the club which for a long time was a power house in Cameroon football, to the embarrassing and humiliating situation of having to be demoted to the Second Division League.

The unbridled fury of Union Douala supporters forced Franck Happi to resign as President of Union Douala. The situation was a real nightmare for Happi, because he knew that he would live to remembered in negative light, as the man under whom Union Douala of all, sunk to the inferior league.

However, Happi claimed that Union Douala was allegedly victimized by FECAFOOT because of his relationship with Eto’o.

A Decision That Maintained Union In Elite League

Suffice to say upon becoming President of FECAFOOT, Samuel Eto’o, with Franck Happi on his side, had to do something to save his friend.

That was apparently the real reason behind the decision by Eto’o’s FECAFOOT that no club should be demoted from the First Division Championship that just ended before he became President of the Federation. But the three clubs that were due promotion from MTN Elite Division to MTN Elite 1, were effectively promoted. Thus no club was bitter with the decision. But then the new season had a First Division Championship with 25 clubs. An odd number that was strange in our leagues.

FECAFOOT said that at the end of the next season, more than three clubs would be demoted. Union Douala had been maintained in the First Division League. It was a mafia game. And that was how Eto’o saved his friend, Franck Happi, from the fangs of supporters of Union Douala.

So anybody saying that Eto’o has come to stop the mafia that has been the stock in trade, or modus operandi at FECAFOOT for decades, certainly does not know what he is talking.

The Imprisonment Of Iya Mohammed

As indicated in one of the subheads of this article, Samuel Eto’o got involved in the fights at FECAFOOT since when Iya Mohamed was President of Federation. The Iya Mohamed – led Executive Committee and General Assembly were elected in 2009. Iya Mohamed was also the General Manager of the State owned company, SODECOTON, in Garoua. He was imprisoned over alleged embezzlement of the company’s funds.

But Iya Mohamed’s supporters till date insist that he was imprisoned because of FECAFOOT and not SODECOTON, and that the allegation of embezzlement at SODECOTON was cooked up as a strategy to get him imprisoned, and thus take him away from FECAFOOT. Eto’o was alleged to have been in the group that was fighting to knock out the Iya Mohammed team from FECAFOOT.

It would be recalled that during the campaign for the December 11, 2021 FECAFOOT Elections, Samuel Etoo, accompanied by Rigobert Song, travelled to Garoua to see the new Lamido, SM Ibrahim El Rachidine , even though the campaign team claimed that the visit was not connected to the elections . Whatever the case, that visit was made low keyed because of the Iya Mohamed issue. When information leaked that Eto’o was to travel to Garoua to visit the new Lamido, many Iya Mohmed supporters jammed the social media to say that he should first go to the Kondemgui Prison in Yaounde, and removed Iya Mohamed, before travelling to Garoua.

Eto’o’s Fight Moves To Tombi A Roko

After the then President of FECAFOOT, Iya Mohamed was arrested and jailed for alleged embezzlement of funds at SODECON where he was General Manager, the 1st Vice President of FECAFOOT , John Begheni Ndeh , who then was also the General Manager of MIDENO, was supposed to take over as the interim President of FECAFOOT till the end of the mandate.

Tombi A Roko

But after the arrest of Iya Mohamed there was a lot of confusion at FECAFOOT, with members of the Executive Committee and General Assembly insisting that he was still President of FECAFOOT, even though in prison. Also, Iya Mohammed was reportedly ‘reelected’ for another mandate as President of FECAFOOT while in prison. That election was however not recognized.

Suffice to say that at one point, Tombi a Aroko, Secretary General under Iya Mohamed, came up as the new President of FECAFOOT. It should be noted that though Tombi hails from the Centre Region, he was based in Douala, and was a candidate of Littoral FECAFOOT at the FECAFOOT elections.

The Dreaded Abdouraman Hamadou Baba

But there was a certain Abdouraman Hamadou Baba, that Iya Mohamed while President of FECAFOOT, had brought from his native Garoua, and appointed Director of his cabinet. Of course Abdouramane left the post when Iya Mohamed, fell.

The Dreaded Abdouraman Hamadou Baba

But Abdouraman had within a few years so much mastered the Constitution and other texts of FECAFOOT that he was able to impose himself as an expert on the Constitution of FECAFOOT. Abdouraman challenged the election of Tobi a Aroko as President of FECAFOOT, pointing out flaws in the texts under which he was elected.

Tombi A Aroko –led Executive Committee Pulled Down

Abdouraman decided to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sports, CAS, to challenge Tombi’s Aroko’s election as President of FECAFOOT. Abdouraman found allies for the fight against Tombi, one of whom was Samuel Eto’o. The football legend was among a number of persons that were quietly behind Abdouraman in the fight.
It should be noted that the alliance between Abdouraman and Eto’o in the fight against Tombi was one of convenience, and not that of friends.

Like other Iya Mohamed’s supporters, Abdouraman was not happy with Eto’o for having been part of the group that fought against Iya Mohammed‘s leadership at FECAFOOT. But then it happened that both came to have a common interest in that they were opposed to the Tombi a Aroko-led Executive Committee at FECAFOOT, even though they definitely had their different reasons for that.

Suffice to say that the Abdoraman – led fight against Tombi as President of FECAFOOT succeeded, as CAS annulled the FECAFOOT elections that brought him and his Executive Committee to take over the management of the Federation. With the mission accomplished, the alliance of convenience between Abdouraman and Eto’o ended, and they went their separate ways.

No Peace For Eto’o As FECAFOOT President

As can be seen, Samuel Eto’o has a huge force against his leadership of FECAFOOT, partly due to his past fights. Supporters of the three former Presidents of FECAFOOT, that is Iya Mohamed, Tombi a Aroko, and Seidou Mbombo Njoya, are all against him as FECAFOOT President. They think it is time for them to take their revenge against him. Eto’o and the former FECAFOOT President, Tombi a Roko, are both of the Littoral FECAFOOT, but they don’t see eye to eye. They don’t greet each other, they don’ talk to each other. That is how bad things are.

Samuel Eto’o during December 2021 Elections Day

Worth recalling that a day after the December 11, 2021 election of Eto’o as President of FECAFOOT, Abdoulaye Ado, a well -known sports consultant at FECAFOOT since the days of Iya Mohamed, who is as well a senior official in the Ministry of Secondary Education, declared to the media in Yaounde that following the FECAFOOT Election, Eto’o and his group have left the “Opposition Bench to the Government Bench”, while their own group have left the “Government Bench and moved to the Opposition Bench”. Abdoulaye Ado bluntly ruled out any possibility of him supporting Eto’o‘s leadership of FECAFOOT, arguing that Eto’o never supported them when they were at FECAFOOT, but rather fought against them.

Why Many MRC Militants / Sympathizers Are Hostile Against Eto’o

If there is one political party in Cameroon that many of its militants and sympathizers are known to be openly hostile to Eto’o’s leadership of FECAFOOT, it is Prof Maurice Kamto’s MRC. The origin of the problem goes back to the 2018 Presidential Election.

It would be recalled that before that election, the then President of CAF, Ahmad Ahmad, with whom Eto’o was seen to have a close relationship, visited Cameroon and was received in audience by President Biya. Ahmad Ahmad who was accompanied to the Presidency by Eto’o , declared to the media after meeting with President Biya that the African Cup of Nations, AFCON , that was scheduled to hold in Cameroon in 2019, would hold as planned.

The declaration was in contrast to media reports that had speculated that the 2019 AFCON hosting right would be withdrawn from Cameroon because of incomplete preparations. The biggest problem was the Olembe Stadium Project in Yaounde, that was programmed to host the opening and closing matches of among others in the AFCON. Construction work on the new stadium was still far from completion.

Ahmad Ahmad Finally Tells The Truth

Meanwhile, after the 2018 Presidential Election in Cameroon, the same CAF President, Ahmad Ahmad, announced during a visit to Ghana that the 2019 AFCON would not hold in Cameroon, because the country was not yet ready as regard infrastructures.

The Cameroon opposition especially MRC were bitter with Samuel Eto’o. It was alleged that Eto’o had pleaded with the CAF President not to disclose before the 2018 Presidential Election that the hosting rights of the 2019 AFCON would be withdrawn from Cameroon. This to Eto’o was to save President Biya, as that information would definitely have been good material for the opposition, to use to bash President Biya at the presidential election campaign. Eto’o was thus rightly accused by the MRC to have meddled into politics to cover President Biya at the detriment of the opposition. Many MRC militants thus remain hostile to Eto’o’s leadership at FECAFOOT.

Eto’o’s Supporters Calling For His Protection

Meanwhile in the midst of the very heated conflict between the President of FECAFOOT, Samuel Eto’o, and the former 4th Vic President of FECAFOOT, Henry Njalla Quan Jr, aggravated by the scandalous allegation of match fixing involving the FECAFOOT President, some of Eto’o’s men are now trying to exploit what he did with he then President of CAF, Ahmad Ahmad in 2018, to present him as a great patriot and staunch supporter of President Biya, who should be protected by the regime.

In a recent video message that circulated on the social media, one of Eto’o ‘s big fighters, Serge Tamba, made a desperate call for the protection of Eto’o by the regime. “Don’t forget one thing. In 2018 Samuel Eto’o valiantly defended the regime, his father Paul Biya, and minister, which enabled Cameroonians to make a good choice”.

But declarations like these will only help to heighten the anger and hostility of those MRC militants and sympathizers that have been hostile against Eto’o for what he did in 2018.

What Eto’o did with Ahmad Ahmad in 2018 cannot be termed patriotism in any sense of the word. What Eto’o did was not in the interest of r the country, but was rather in favour of a presidential candidate or the incumbent, Paul Biya.

Somebody cannot plead to CAF President to tell a blatant lie to the Cameroonian people to protect a presidential candidate he supports, and is called a patriot. The dirty game that Ahmad Ahmad also accepted to play, show ed him as mean, and it is not surprising that he was President of CAF only for on term.

This article was written by Joe Dinga Pefok for The Mentor and relayed by kick442.com as an official media partner.

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