After three days on the job, I still believe it is still too early to judge or draw conclusions about Samuel Eto’o.
However, the noise on social media in the run-up to his election about how he could not handle the job made many to feel that once he got the job, he would start by conducting himself as a bull in a China shop by demolishing all what was already at the federation’s headquarters.
On the contrary, he is pointing his collaborators in the right direction by instilling discipline in a place where discipline had taken French leave of the federation.
No genuine endeavor can succeed if discipline is lacking. Eto’o knows this principle only too well. He did not succeed in making tons of money by making indiscipline his companion.
The old workers at FECAFOOT are still struggling as the wind of change continues to blow. Yesterday, they did not know that the times were changing and they thought they could come to work at anytime. Late-coming, as we were taught in primary school, is a sign of indiscipline. Eto’o does not condone indiscipline.
He is already indicating that there is a new sheriff in town and he is not going to accept the old bad ways that have dumped the federation into a pretty mess.
He has come with the carrot and stick approach, which is the hallmark of good managers. Those who do their work accordingly get the kudos, those who are stuck with their bad habits will hear very bad news.
The Sheriff has already inspected facilities in Yaounde and where works are still underway, he is urging the contractors to use the best possible materials. He is not settling for anything sub-standard.
In his view, Cameroon and Cameroonians deserve better. You cannot be one of the best in the world only to give your country the worst. That is not Eto’o.
He has already begun chopping off the excess fat in the budget by cutting down on unnecessary cost.
Yesterday, all expensive dishes on the Federation’s menu were deleted. The country is going through hard times, with young men being the primary victims of the mismanagement that has become the country’s hallmark. Eto’o is not happy about that. Youths are at the center of his actions. He was to give them hope and trust. He was to inject unalloyed patriotism in them.
Eto’o is hellbent on cutting cost within his administrative space. Puff-puff, beans and pap are on the menu and any federation worker who is hungry can feast on that.
He loves leading by example and he was on hand yesterday to eat his bowl of puff-puff and beans. Any FECAFOOT worker who does not love our beloved puff-puff and beans can buy whatever he wants to eat. The football federation known as FECAFOOT cannot become FECAFOOD. Good leaders manage the budget prudently.
Today, he is in the South region to inspect sports facilities and to meet with youths who are looking up to him. He has promised to deliver Cameroon’s football from its malaise of yesteryears and the plan is already underway.
A visit to the Minister of Sports on Monday resulted in an agreement for the supervisory authority to support his determined efforts aimed at giving football in Cameroon a face-lift and a good name.
The world is watching and Eto’o knows he must not disappoint. Every move of his is being scrutinized, and rightly so, because he must deliver on his mandate. To whom more is given, more is expected.
However, Cameroonians must be patient. The cancer of corruption and internal fighting had destroyed the very foundation on which the Federation was built.
It takes time to rebuild and if Cameroonians can rid themselves of their post-appointment trauma and legendary jealousy, they will be able to see a savior in Eto’o and he will do his best to restore our faith in our football federation.
By Dr. Joachim Arrey