• Thursday, June 20, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Brys reinstated as Cameroon coach

Marc Brys

The Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot) has reversed its decision to sack manager Marc Brys following a heated confrontation with Fecafoot president Samuel Eto’o.

Brys, who was appointed as Cameroon’s manager in April by the country’s Sports Ministry, seemed to have parted ways with the team on Thursday morning after a public altercation with Eto’o.

Fecafoot initially announced that Brys would be replaced by Martin Ndtoungou, who would serve as Cameroon’s interim head coach.

However, the situation took a dramatic turn when Brys and Eto’o reconciled, with Eto’o offering a public apology during a bizarre press conference. In his monologue, Eto’o asked for forgiveness and expressed his commitment to working collaboratively with Brys to build a sustainable future for the Cameroon national team.

The original conflict stemmed from Brys’ appointment by the Sports Ministry rather than by Fecafoot, which is chaired by Eto’o. Fecafoot had accused the Sports Ministry of unilaterally appointing the Belgian manager and initially suggested that Eto’o should name a new coach. Despite this, Eto’o chose to keep Brys in charge.

Tensions escalated when Eto’o was not present at Brys’ unveiling and the two had a public confrontation during a meeting ahead of Cameroon’s qualifiers for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Brys’ support staff were reportedly refused entry to Fecafoot’s offices in Yaounde, and a video posted on social media showed Eto’o preventing a Sports Ministry official from attending the meeting.

During their first meeting, Eto’o clashed with Brys, demanding respect from the Belgian coach. Eto’o, the country’s all-time top goalscorer, was heard saying, “I’m the president of the federation. And you don’t talk to me like that. I was a coach too. As a footballer, you could never talk to me. You sit down and we work. Stop this s**t. You think I could do that in Belgium, I was a coach.”

The situation has now been resolved, with Eto’o appearing at a press conference alongside Brys to apologize for his previous actions and the way the confrontation was handled.

Brys now looks set to take charge of his first international games after the latest development in the power struggle between Cameroon’s sports ministry and Fecafoot.

The Central Africans are top of qualifying Group D with four points from two games, with the group winners assured of a place at the finals in the United States, Mexico and Canada.