Home » The Rise and Fall of Alliances: Samuel Eto’o and His Former Allies!

The Rise and Fall of Alliances: Samuel Eto’o and His Former Allies!

by Lesley Ngwa
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Samuel Eto’o’s journey to the helm of the Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot) was marked by strong alliances and robust support from key figures within the football community. These alliances played a pivotal role in his successful bid for the presidency. However, in a dramatic turn of events, many of Eto’o’s closest allies have since severed their ties with him, citing various grievances.

The Former Allies

Benjamin Didier Banlock – The former Secretary General of Fecafoot, Banlock was instrumental during Eto’o’s campaign and early presidency.

Bruno Tagne – As Eto’o’s former campaign manager, the renowned journalist, Bruno Tagne’s strategic acumen was crucial in rallying support for Eto’o.

Njalla Quan Jr – Once serving as Eto’o’s vice president, Njalla Quan Jr brought significant political clout to the table before, during and after the FECAFOOT Presidential election. But Junior threw the towel after several attempts to convince President Eto’o to look into some of his proposals. His club Njalla Quan Sports Academy was brutally demoted into the inferior division.

Njalla Quan Jr

Gilbert Kadji – The president of Kadji Sports Academy, where Eto’o received his early training, Kadji was a foundational supporter of the current FECAFOOT boss. But the two have evidently fallen out. Recently, the judiciary arm of the Littoral Regional League of football demoted KSA by two divisions and its President, Kadji, suspended for 5 years and inflicted a 5-million FRS fine.

Franck De Happi – Eto’o’s former manager, De Happi was also a key figure in Eto’o’s professional and political endeavors. In fact, he ran most of Eto’o professional and private errands in and out of the country including his foundation. But today, the two are like a cat and mouse.

Chi Ivo and Justin Tagou – Both former allies, they contributed to Eto’o’s campaign and early administrative efforts. Tagou, the president of Elite 1 club, Bamboutos fc of Mbouda, and proprietor of Afrique Media television in Douala is also a renowned business man. Like Ivo Chi, a player agent and business man, Tagou played an instrumental role during Eto’o’s FECAFOOT election.

Ivo Chi, a player agent

Feutcheu Joseph – A staunch supporter during the Fecafoot election, captain Feutcheu (former military man’s) backing was vital for Eto’o’s initial success. The former FECAFOOT executive committee member threw in the towel when his club, Djiko FC, was relegated into the inferior division.

Accusations and Defenses

Now, the rift between Eto’o and his former allies has been attributed to several factors. Many of these individuals have accused Eto’o of high-handedness, breach of trust, and settling scores. They claim that Eto’o’s leadership style has become autocratic, prioritizing personal vendettas over the collective good of Fecafoot.

In contrast, Eto’o has defended his actions by asserting that he is committed to adhering to the rules and regulations governing Fecafoot. According to him, his leadership is not about pleasing individuals but about ensuring the integrity and proper functioning of the organization.

A significant narrative among Eto’o’s supporters is that these former allies are disgruntled because they no longer receive the financial benefits and favors they once enjoyed. They argue that Eto’o’s administration has cut off these financial “taps,” leading to discontent among his erstwhile supporters.

However, this argument is complicated by the financial independence of many of these figures. For instance, Gilbert Kadji is a billionaire with extensive business interests both within and outside Cameroon. Similarly, Njalla Quan Jr, son of former Limbe City mayor and former General Manager of the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC), is also financially well-off. In fact, he is a “cadre” (senior staff) in Cameroon’s Oil Refinery Company, SONARA.

So the core question remains: Did all these former allies fall out with Eto’o purely because the financial benefits ceased, or are there deeper, more substantive issues at play?

While the financial argument holds some weight, the significant personal and professional stature of these individuals suggests that there might be more nuanced reasons for the fallout. The accusations of high-handedness and breach of trust indicate potential conflicts over leadership style and organizational direction, which might have contributed to the deteriorating relationships.

The fallout between Samuel Eto’o and his former allies highlights the complexities of leadership and alliance in sports administration. As Eto’o continues his tenure as Fecafoot president, the true reasons behind these fractured relationships may become clearer.

Like I said, he has always made it abundantly clear that he is not out to please his friends, but to do the right thing. Apparently to many the “right thing” is subjective. For now, the saga speaks volumes to the challenging balance between personal loyalty and professional governance.

By Rene Katche
Guest4Sports Editor, Commentator)
(Never Say Die..)


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