In 2019, Samuel Eto’o put his shoes on the shelf after a rich career with stays at, among others, Real Madrid, Mallorca, Barcelona, Inter, Chelsea and Everton.
However, the years after he retired have been filled with scandals for Eto’o, who is today the president of the Cameroon Football Association.
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In June 2022, he received a 22-month suspended prison sentence and was fined £1.4 million after pleading guilty to a charge of tax fraud relating to image rights when he played in Spain.
In May 2023, Eto’o announced that he had become an ambassador for gambling company 1XBet, despite it being against Fifa’s regulations for a football president. It carries a maximum penalty of three years’ ban from football, but Eto’o was not punished.
During the World Cup in Qatar, the Cameroonian had to apologize after being violent towards an Algerian journalist outside a stadium.
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Now Eto’o is in trouble again, and he has a number of serious accusations leveled against him.
The Athletic reports that Eto’o and close aides of his are accused of having been involved in match-fixing, abuse of power, physical threats, incitement to violence and the spread of false information in Cameroon.
The Athletic writes that the accusations come from a former leader of Cameroon’s football association, and the English online newspaper claims to have seen documentation from WhatsApp messages, e-mails, letters and audio recordings of the accusations against Eto’o and others.
The allegations have been sent to Fifa’s ethics committee by the former vice-president of Cameroon’s football federation, Henry Njalla Quan Junior, and are also being investigated by Caf, Africa’s football confederation.
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“Most scandalous in history”
One of the claims Njalla Quan Junior makes is that Eto’o should have tried to influence the result in a match in Cameroon between NQSA and Kumba City FC.
According to The Athletic, the match is described as “the most scandalous in human history”. Among other things, it is alleged that Eto’o gave direct instructions to the referees during the match.
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Caf have stated to The Athletic that the matters are still being investigated, but that Eto’o must still be presumed innocent until an appropriate judicial body has concluded otherwise. Fifa has refused to comment on whether it has launched its own investigation.
The Athletic has also tried to get hold of Eto’o’s lawyers, Vey & Associes, but they have not responded. They have previously denied the claims and called them “disastrous rumours”.