The president of the African Football Confederation Patrice Motsepe, during his visit to Cameroon, showed that he was opposed to a candidacy of Samuel Eto'o at the head of Fecafoot.
Within the Confederation of African Football (CAN), diplomacy cannot be improvised. Patrice Motsepe, president of the African body, learned it the hard way. During the draw for the next African Cup of Nations, which took place on August 17, the South African first paid a visit to Foumban. The day before the draw, Motsepe indeed went to the west of the country to meet Ibrahim Mbombo Njoya, sultan of the Bamouns.
If the Bamoun kingdom is on good terms with the state, Cameroonian President Paul Biya did not really appreciate that Patrice Motsepe arrogates to himself the right to interfere in national politics. Because the Bamouns and their sultan have a real political role. Njoya, Biya's old friend, however, at the end of 2019, deeply annoyed the Cameroonian presidency by positioning himself in favor of limiting the number of presidential terms and political alternation. Patrice Motsepe therefore finally left Yaoundé without having been able to meet the Cameroonian president. A first diplomatic blunder for the boss of CAF, who nevertheless has the door open in most African presidential palaces.
Fecafoot activates to invalidate Eto'o's future candidacy
But Patrice Motsepe's trip to Foumban was also seen by observers as support for the Sultan's son. Seidou Mbombo Njoya is the current president of the Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot). However, at the end of the year, Fecafoot will vote for its president. Among the candidates, Seidou Mbombo Njoya is expected to apply for his own succession. In front of him, several former footballers have positioned themselves: Jules Denis Onana and Emmanuel Maboang Kessack have officially announced their candidacy.
As for Samuel Eto'o, he also intends to run for the presidency of the federation. Already, it is the commotion of the fight within Fecafoot, very divided about a possible candidacy of the ex-Indomitable Lion. According to local sources, the ethics committee of the Cameroonian federation is in the process of introducing an amendment to prohibit candidates with dual nationality from standing. However, Eto'o has a Spanish passport. If the former footballer can count on the support of the secretary general of Fecafoot Benjamin Didier Banlock, the other members of the federation are determined to declare Eto'o ineligible.
Eto'o, Motsepe's number 1 opponent?
Patrice Motsepe would not be very enthusiastic about seeing Samuel Eto'o running for the presidency of Fecafoot either. Because Seidou Mbombo Njoya is a guaranteed support for the Motsepe-Infantino duo. The president of the Cameroonian federation also sits on the executive committee of CAF. Above all, the South African does not carry Samuel Eto'o in his heart, after the latter supported Ahmad Ahmad. The Malagasy, for a moment, considered presenting Eto'o, his special advisor, to the presidency of CAF with a message: free CAF from the tutelage of FIFA.
Quite the opposite of Motsepe, faithful among the faithful of Gianni Infantino. It was Paul Biya who would have, at the time, asked the ex-Indomitable Lion not to appear. But Patrice Motsepe has not forgotten it. And the South African knows that in the event of Samuel Eto'o's candidacy for the presidency of Fecafoot, he will be dealing with a major opponent, respected in the football world and very influential. The meeting with Ibrahim Mbombo Njoya was therefore far from trivial. It is now for the son of the Sultan and for the president of CAF to block the road by all means in Eto'o. The suspension of the secretary general of Fecafoot is a first step.