Francophones and their FECAFOOT: The unending war
The President of the Francophone dominated Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT), Samuel Eto’o travelled recently to Limbe in Southern Cameroons and staged the beautiful game’s support for the one and indivisible Cameroon policy. The Limbe meeting ended its deliberations with the appointment of new members in the executive committee of FECAFOOT. Not even a single English-speaking Cameroonian was appointed to the executive committee.
Federalists such as Barrister Agbor Balla and Dr Joachim Arrey of the Global Think Tank for Africa have already registered their utter disagreement and disappointment with the Eto’o decision. But the French Cameroun football legend is now focused on important Francophone FECAFOOT issues-the most urgent being who to replace the Portuguese António Conceição as head coach of the Indomitable Lions.
We gathered that the new FECAFOOT boss has already made public his intention of appointing Rigobert Song and the decision could be officially announced on Wednesday 23 February 2022. Will Rigobert Song Bahanag be the new coach of the Indomitable Lions?
There is one small thing. Small but great and it is the involvement of Sports Minister Hon. Narcisse Mouelle Kombi. Minister Narcisse extended the Portuguese António Conceição’s contract last September and on February 13, 2022 a week after the end of the Africa Cup of Nations, the Minister announced his intention to keep the Portuguese technician for the qualification to the FIFA World Cup, which will take place in Qatar in November and December.
On February 14, Samuel Eto’o addressed a letter to the Minister of Sports. In the letter, the FECAFOOT President raised a finger against Minister Narcisse Kombi’s involvement in the affairs of the Cameroon Football Federation. Samuel Eto’o reminded the minister that according to the texts in force, the administrative, sporting and technical management of all national soccer teams is the responsibility of the Cameroon Football Federation. Eto’o cautioned the Biya acolyte to desist from commenting publicly on maintenance or termination of the contract of the Indomitable Lions head coach.
Interestingly, there was a president at the head of the Cameroon Football Federation before Samuel Eto’o took office! So, how come that it was Minister Narcisse who awarded the Portuguese technician a contract in 2019 at the Yaoundé Hilton Hotel?
Supported in his approach by the executive committee of the federation, which met on February 16 in Limbe, in Southern Cameroons, Eto’o is now planning to appoint Rigobert Song as head coach with the immediate objective of qualifying the Indomitable Lions for the 2022 World Cup.
Eto’o and Song: strange bed fellows?
Rigobert Song Bahanag, now 45 years old, has written some of the most memorable pages in the history of Cameroonian soccer. To be sure, Rigobert Song is the record holder of 137 caps for the national team and has played in four World Cups and eight Africa Cup of Nations. Twice, he was part of the team that brought the cup back to Yaoundé (2000 and 2002).
Song also played for Salernitana (Italy), Liverpool, West Ham (England), Cologne (Germany), Galatasaray and Trabzonspor (Turkey). He ended his career in 2010.
He then became a coach and a member of the executive body within FECAFOOT. A stroke in 2016 forced him to take a break off football matters, but he was able to resume his activities two years later.
During the time when both men wore the colors of Cameroon, Rigobert Song and Samuel Eto’o sometimes had a tense relationship. The former lost his captaincy to the latter in 2009.
Since then, the two former internationals have buried the hatchet. Last August, Rigobert Song publicly supported Samuel Eto’o in his campaign to win the presidency of the Cameroon Football Federation.
Minister Narcisse is reportedly holding meetings in Yaoundé and CPDM commentators are already painting Eto’o as a destructive element.
For his part, Eto’o is fighting the leadership of CAF, FIFA and now- a baron of the CPDM crime syndicate.
By Isong Asu