Cameroon soccer federation president and former star participant Samuel Eto’o apologised for kicking a person to the bottom in what he referred to as a “violent altercation” exterior a World Cup stadium this week.
Eto’o had paused to pose for images with followers close to Stadium 974 after Brazil beat South Korea 4-1.
A video initially posted on social media by newspaper La Opinion confirmed him then reacting to feedback by a person holding a digital camera.
The previous Barcelona and Inter Milan ahead was initially held again by individuals in his entourage, however he then acquired clear and appeared to purpose a kick on the man, who fell backwards to the bottom.
“I had a violent altercation with an individual who was most likely an Algerian supporter,” Eto’o wrote in statements posted in French and English on his Twitter account, citing a months-long marketing campaign by that nation’s followers in opposition to Cameroon since their World Cup play-off in March.
“I wish to apologise for dropping my mood and reacting in a manner that doesn’t match my persona,” mentioned Eto’o, who has represented Qatar’s World Cup organising committee as a worldwide legacy ambassador since 2019.
The person, Algerian social media persona Mentioned Mamouni, later printed a video on YouTube saying he was the one that was attacked, and that he was at a Qatari police station to file a criticism in opposition to Eto’o.
“Samuel had a battle with me. He hit me, and the one accompanying him pushed me. I’m right here to lodge a criticism, and he additionally smashed my digital camera,” Mamouni mentioned.
Mamouni mentioned Eto’o turned violent after he requested him whether or not he had bribed Gambian referee Bakary Gassama in a controversial World Cup qualifying recreation between Cameroon and Algeria.
Cameroon received the second leg 2-1 within the last moments of the match and certified for the World Cup on the away-goals rule.
Algeria’s soccer federation filed a criticism with FIFA, demanding a replay of the match due to what it deemed have been referring errors made by Gassama.
FIFA dismissed the criticism.
However Algeria’s grievance additionally carried over to the Cameroon workforce’s first official information convention in Qatar, sooner or later earlier than enjoying Switzerland.
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An Algerian reporter’s query to Cameroon coach Rigobert Music about having “purchased qualification” wasn’t answered.
Eto’o has been in Qatar as head of the delegation from Cameroon, which was eradicated within the group stage final week.
“I’ve been the goal of insults and allegations of dishonest with none proof,” he wrote.
”I pledge to proceed to withstand the relentless provocation and every day harassment of some Algerian supporters.”
Eto’o is a part of the FIFA Legends program that makes use of former gamers to advertise soccer, and it was unclear in what capability Eto’o attended the sport on Tuesday morning (AEDT).
Qatari organisers of the World Cup mentioned Eto’o hadn’t been their visitor on the recreation.
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FIFA did not instantly reply to a request for remark.
A spokesman for the Cameroon federation did not instantly reply telephone calls or reply to messages in search of remark.
Qatar’s authorities didn’t instantly reply to questions in regards to the incident.
Eto’o performed at 4 World Cups for Cameroon between 1998 and 2014, and was elected to steer its soccer federation one 12 months in the past.
He referred to as on Algerian soccer officers “to place an finish to this unhealthy local weather earlier than a extra severe tragedy happens”.
“To Fennecs’ followers,” he mentioned, noting the Algeria workforce’s nickname, “I want that they discover peace and handle to beat the frustration of a painful defeat, now behind us.”
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