Home » Cameroon: Samuel Eto’o apologizes after government stamps authority, peace expected

Cameroon: Samuel Eto’o apologizes after government stamps authority, peace expected

Samuel Eto'o Fils embraced Marc Brys at the end of the meeting at FECAFOOT barely days after he vowed the Belgian will never return to the building

by Lesley Ngwa
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  • Everything being peace has returned to Cameroon’s football space after weeks of tension. Samuel Eto’o, the president of the Cameroon Football Federation, and Belgian tactician Marc Brys engaged in a peaceful exchange
  • This has paved the way for collaborative efforts ahead of the World Cup qualifiers
  • The technical staff is set to depart for Angola, and preparations are underway for the crucial matches

After weeks of tension, a sense of calm has finally settled over the Cameroon football space. Samuel Eto’o, the president of the Cameroon Football Federation, engaged in a peaceful exchange with Belgian tactician Marc Brys on Thursday, May 30, 2024, just ahead of the World Cup qualifiers.

The meeting began with President Eto’o offering a heartfelt apology for his outburst during their initial encounter the previous day. He emphasized that the interests of Cameroonians far outweigh any institutional concerns.

“I would like to extend my sincere apologies for our unfortunate meeting. Emotions ran high during our initial encounter, but I recognize that you, as well as the Cameroonian people, hold greater importance than any of us individually. Our shared interest in advancing our nation and football should be the driving force behind our efforts”

“Having spoken with the coach, I reiterated our unwavering convictions. Over the past two years, we have diligently worked to give our best to the national team and our football. It’s essential to acknowledge that administrative lapses caused us problems in the past, especially when we had results . However, we aim to overcome those challenges” Samuel Eto’o explained

Marc Brys, the newly appointed coach, is now poised to commence his work promptly. The atmosphere is one of collaboration and tranquility as preparations intensify for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Angola and Cape Verde.

“As the coach steps into this new environment, administrative support will be crucial. Our collective goal is to foster peace within Cameroon. I apologize once again for any past misunderstandings, but time is of the essence. Let us focus on the task at hand so that we can continue our winning streak”

“Undoubtedly, the road ahead won’t be easy, but I implore everyone to be understanding and patient. Among your friends, I assure you that I will always stand by your side. And when our team emerges victorious, as the president, my worries will dissipate”, Samuel Eto’o added.

Sources say it was agreed in the meeting that Marc Brys will work with the staff appointed by the government of Cameroon via instructions to its minister of Sports.

It was agreed that the likes of François Omam-Biyik step in as the first Assistant Coach, with Ashu Bessong as the second Assistant Coach .

The managerial team was supposed to be rounded out by Danny Nounkeu as Team Manager, Christophe Manouvrier as Physical Trainer, Alioum Boukar handling the goalkeepers, and Germain Noël Essengue overseeing press relations.

In a parallel administrative shift, Benjamin Banlock, formerly the Secretary-General of Fecafoot and known for his strained relationship with Samuel Eto’o, has been appointed as the new coordinator of the national selections.

Insights about Government’s Indomitable Lions staff

His first deputy is Francois Omam Biyik

The former Cameroon international now aged 57, is back in the national team after a first stint between 2010-2011 and recently as deputy to Antonio Conceicao between 2019 & 2022. He’s a coach who has a strong bond with the players.

The second deputy is Cyprian Ashu Besong

Aged 54, Ashu Besong has previously coached at Leicester & was an assistant to Sven Goran.

He coached Cameroon’s U20 before going to lead South Sudan. Prior to his appointment, he was technical director of Djibouti’s national teams.

The goalkeeping coach is Alioum Boukar

Like Omam, Alioum is returning for a third stint, having previously served under Hugo Broos, winning the 2017 AFCON & under Clarence Seedorf. He won 2 AFCONS with Cameroon in 2000 & 2002

Christophe Manoeuvre, the fitness coach

He was fitness coach of Cameroon for nine years and formed part of the Cameroon staff that won AFCON 2017

Joachim Mununga 

He is a former Belgian footballer of Congolese descent and previously worked with Marc Brys at club level

Mind you, three members of FECAFOOT’s staff had tendered their resignations:David Pagou (Assistant Coach), Narcisse Tinkeu (Fitness Coach) and Martin Ntoungou Mpile (Interim Coach) but late last night FECAFOOT published a list of coaches which was made up of a blend of its own coaches and that of the government – while sidelining the likes of Benjamin Banlock, Francois Omam-Biyik and Ashu Bessong Cyprian.

Meanwhile, Idriss Kameni has been retained as  goalkeeper coach in place of Alioum Boukar though he continues to serve actively with the Spanish side Antequera CF.

The final list of retained players is expected to be made public between Friday and Sunday. Approximately 20 players already possess their flight tickets.

Notably, 10 players—three of whom are already in Cameroon—have opted to personally cover the cost of their flight tickets. Among them are Bryan Mbeumo, Kunde Malong, and Andre Onana.

As Cameroon gears up for the World Cup qualifiers, the focus is on unity, preparation, and success.

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