Former Barcelona star Samuel Eto’o is currently being investigated by Cameroon police for match fixing. Following his retirement as a player, the striker was named president of the Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot) in 2021. According to a report by Camfoot, Eto’o allegedly used his power to manipulate matches in Cameroon’s second-tiered division.
L’Equipe reported this summer that there was a recording of Eto’o speaking to Valentine Nkwain, also known as ‘Bobdidy,’ the president of Cameroonian side Victoria United. In the recording, Eto’o promised Nkwain to help promote the club to the top flight by fixing games. Both Eto’o and Nkwain have denied involvement in the issue. The latter even claims that it was not his voice on the recording.
Recordings allegedly tell story of duo manipulating fixtures
In the recording, Eto’o told Nkwain that “there are things we can do” to help Victoria United. The two discussed a 1-0 loss by the club, to which the former star stated “Don’t worry, we’ll give you your three points and we will suspend the referee.”
Nkwain then responded by telling Eto’o that his team needed promotion back to the top flight. “Opopo [Victoria’s nickname] must go up to the first division. This is our goal. This is our federation. Victoria United will go up,” Nkwain said per the allegations. Victoria earned promotion to the first division in April.
Eto’o previously denied the allegations in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport this summer. The former star striker claimed that he was merely “talking to a friend, someone who invests in football and wants to make his club one of the best in Cameroon.”
“I just reassured him by saying that I would have done everything possible to avoid any refereeing errors against him,” added Eto’o.
Up to 40 people involved in Eto’o match fixing case
The Guardian has now obtained a Cameroonian police report regarding the allegations. In the letter, police revealed they opened an investigation into Eto’o and Nkwain. Officials have even reportedly interviewed key witnesses in the case and claim that the situation could involve around 40 people.
The latest issue will add further strain on Eto’o’s relationship with Cameroon soccer officials. A group of high-ranking execs in the African nation previously wrote a letter to FIFA president Gianni Infantino regarding Eto’o. The officials asked Infantino to intervene in their fight to remove the former striker from office.
Eto’o previously received heat after a bizarre incident at the 2022 World Cup involving a photographer. The soccer star kicked a cameraman in the face while the two exited a Doha stadium. The altercation occurred as fans and other photographers looked on.
PHOTO: IMAGO / PanoramiC
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