Samuel Eto’o Fils, the Cameroonian football legend, has been elected as the president of the nation’s Football Federation (FECAFOOT).
Forty-year-old Eto’o defeated Seidou Mbombo Njoya, the incumbent, by 43 to 31 votes to emerge victorious in an election held at the Hotel Mont Febe in Yaoundé on Saturday evening.
Eto’o’s win was achieved on the night against an opponent who had been controversially elected president of FECAFOOT in 2018. That election was contested by several actors within Cameroonian football, and was canceled in mid-January, this year, by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Eto’o, while announcing his intention to run for the post on September 22, had said it was time to “launch the reconstruction of Cameroonian soccer”.
The former Cameroon international said Mr Njoya had “failed miserably” and had no business being president of one of Africa’s most successful footballing nations.
But having achieved his aim of becoming head of FECAFOOT, the former Barcelona and Inter Milan star described the moment as “one of my best ever”.
Eto’o, who is arguably Africa’s most-decorated player ever, will be presiding over the affairs of a Federation whose national team is the continent’s most accomplished.
But the former Chelsea and Anzhi Makhachkala striker is also coming into the prestigious job with enviable accomplishments of his own.
Named four-time winner of the African Player of the Year (in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2010), Eto’o participated in four World Cups and six Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
He is the all-time leading scorer in the history of the AFCON, with 18 goals. He is also Cameroon’s all-time leading scorer and third most capped player, with 56 goals in 118 international caps.
Eto’o, who narrowly missed out on the FIFA Player of the Year award on several occasions, was a key member of the Indomitable Lions’ team that narrowly defeated Nigeria at the finale of the Ghana-Nigeria Cup of Nations in 2000, when he was only aged 19.
His impressive youth career saw him join Spanish giants, Barcelona, in 2004 where he scored 130 goals in five seasons. He also became the record holder for the most appearances by an African player in La Liga.
Writing by Tony Okerafor