April 12, 2024

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A new goal for Samuel Eto’o in saving Cameroon soccer

3 min read
A new goal for Samuel Eto’o in saving Cameroon soccer

YAOUNDE, Cameroon (AP) — When Samuel Eto’o received the election to come to be president of the Cameroon soccer federation, he jumped from his chair and punched the air like he could possibly have carried out following scoring a intention at the height of a taking part in career that place him among the greatest strikers in the entire world.

But that celebration in December marked just the start off for Eto’o, who has set himself the complicated endeavor of rebuilding a broken domestic soccer composition in his Central African home country.

Cameroon’s nationwide workforce is one of Africa’s most effective with 5 continental titles Eto’o was on the group for two of them. Cameroon seized the world’s awareness with a memorable operate to the quarterfinals of the 1990 World Cup, led by charismatic striker Roger Milla. A lot of took detect of African soccer right after that and Cameroon has gone on to perform at 7 World Cups, more than any other African nation.

Yet at dwelling, the final ten years has been deeply tricky. The national league has been bedeviled by interference from the govt, allegations of corruption and unkept promises from soccer leaders. The league has been consistently disrupted, sponsors have deserted it — having their dollars with them — and gamers have shed religion.

“I just can’t listing the selection of gamers who have remaining football to do other work since they gain very little (from taking part in),” said Che Malone, a defender with Coton Sport, Cameroon’s national champion.

Malone mentioned numerous players in Cameroon “play for free or pretty much free” as some groups aren’t usually capable to fork out their salaries.

Enter Eto’o.

It was a shock when the previous Barcelona and Inter Milan striker introduced he was standing as a applicant to lead the troubled Cameroon federation. It was a shock when he won.

Eto’o promised to fight corruption, market women’s soccer, strengthen stadiums and other infrastructure, get followers back at game titles and — maybe his key assure — enhance the lives of gamers.

“It’s imperative to look outside of egocentric passions in get to revive our local championships,” Eto’o explained.

He also mentioned he experienced a mission “to rekindle the winning spirit within our nationwide teams” and there had been early signals of that when Cameroon amazed and excited on the way to third put at the African Cup of Nations it hosted in January and February.

Turning all over the domestic video game won’t be virtually so uncomplicated, or quick.

But the 41-calendar year-outdated Eto’o has manufactured a commence, developing a minimum amount wage for gamers in the leading two tiers and imposing guidelines necessitating club homeowners to display proof they have enough income to shell out their gamers and workers.

He has also negotiated a offer to see the return of league sponsor MTN, a multinational telecommunications enterprise, and has promised to build 10 stadiums in reply to players’ pleas for far better configurations to ply their trade. Some reduced-tier game titles go ahead on fields that have much more bare earth than grass.

Cameroon’s major tier is also again up and operating again obtaining kicked off on March 16.

There is a lengthy road forward, but Eto’o “has ignited hope in us,” stated Frank Abianda, a striker with leading-tier club AS Fortuna. “At a single moment the future seemed very dim.”


Far more AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sporting activities

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