Samuel Eto’o hits out at Cameroon government over future of head coach Antonio Conceicao

Daily Mail | Samuel Eto’o hits out at Cameroon government as he writes letter to the Sports Minister warning he has NO right to decide future of Antonio Conceicao after he appeared to confirm the head coach would stay on after their third-place finish at AFCON

  • Cameroon finished third in AFCON on home soil earlier this month 
  • Antonio Conceicao was criticised for ‘poor coaching’ during tournament 
  • Cameroon’s Sports Minister said Portuguese will be in charge next month
  • But Samuel Eto’o pushed back insisting the decision rested with Cameroon’s FA 

Samuel Eto’o has become embroiled in a diplomatic row with Cameroon’s Sports Minister over the future of head coach Antonio Conceicao as the fallout from the country’s third-place finish Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) continues.

Eto’o told Narcisse Mouelle Kombi any decision concerning a managerial change ultimately rested with Cameroon’s Football Association (FECAFOOT), of which he is the president.

Earlier this week, Kombi had told Cameroonian broadcaster CRTV that Conceicao would be in charge for the upcoming international fixtures next month.

‘Every time we have won a trophy, it has been with a foreign coach. What is more important now is the [World Cup] playoffs in March,’ he said.

‘The priority is not to destabilise the team by decapitating it.

‘We are in a phase of rebuilding. When we look at the record under the Conceicao era, we have two defeats out of 23 matches, and 14 matches without conceding a goal.’

Eto’o, however, swiftly reminded Cameroon’s Spots Minister that deciding the future of the national team’s manager was not part of his remit.

In a letter addressed to Kombi, the former Barcelona, Chelsea and Inter Milan striker pointed out a presidential decree from 2014 stated that the ‘FECAFOOT is in charge of the administrative, sporting and technical management of Cameroon’s national teams.’

He added choosing to continue with Conceicao or appointing a new manager remained a prerogative of the Cameroonian FA and not something the Sports Minister could decide upon.

Cameroon hosted AFCON for the first time in 50 years last month, but the Indomitable Lions’ hopes of reclaiming the title they last lifted in 2017 came to an end as they lost to Egypt on penalties in the semi-final.

Cameroon eventually finished third after coming back from 3-0 down in the third-place playoff to beat Burkina Faso on penalties, but that wasn’t enough to prevent Conceicao from being heavily criticised in some quarters.

The Portuguese, who has been in charge of Cameroon since 2019, was lambasted for poor tactical decisions and for persisting with what his detractors consider a dull brand of football.

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One comment

  1. Does that surprise you? In Biya’s Cameroon, the rule of law is fictive. So, I don’t know whether they read these laws, presidential “arretes” or not. So, for this guy to out there at their government-controlled CRTV and unabashedly talk rubbish shouldn’t not surprise.

    Samu did the right thing.