A group representing amateur clubs in Cameroon has called on legendary former player Samuel Eto’o to resign from his post as president of the country’s football federation, citing “grave irregularities” in the organisation.
Last week, Cameroon’s Amateur Clubs’ Association (ACFAC) voted 11-1 in favour of asking the four-time African Footballer of the Year to step down.
It said the 42-year-old, who played for several of Europe’s top clubs, should resign “if he still loves Cameroonian football, as he has always claimed”.
ACFAC called for Cameroon’s sports minister to intervene, and mentioned the possibility of asking FIFA president Gianni Infantino to do the same.
Among its list of concerns, ACFAC said the decision to change the Fecafoot president’s mandate from four to seven years was both anti-statutory and illegal. It also highlighted the lack of publication of new statutes adopted last August.
There were also questions to answer, it said, about Eto’o’s decision to take an ambassadorial role with a sports betting company, which could be in violation of both FIFA and Fecafoot rules.
FIFA says people bound by its code “shall be forbidden from participating in, either directly or indirectly, betting, gambling, lotteries or similar events or transactions related to football matches or competitions and/or any related football activities”.
Football’s world governing body mentions a sanction of either a fine or ban from football for any violation of its ethics code regarding connections to betting and gambling, with any “direct or indirect financial interest” outlawed. It is unclear if Eto’o is personally profiting from his involvement with the company.
In late June, top-flight Cameroonian club UMS de Loum asked Fecafoot to investigate the matter, and also raised it with both FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Fecafoot has signed a deal with the same betting company to sponsor both the men’s and women’s international teams, as well as the top two divisions of the country’s football league.
In a statement issued at the time, the federation said the deal had been agreed in compliance with all ethical codes and was further proof of Eto’o’s drive to “modernise” Cameroonian football.
ACFAC also claimed in its statement that unnamed individuals in Fecafoot are manipulating matches in order to successfully bet on their outcomes.
The BBC invited Fecafoot to comment on the nature of ACFAC’s claims about the organisation and its president, but has received no response.