• Monday, June 24, 2024
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BusinessDay

Eto’o apologises to coach Brys after public spat

Samuel Eto’o-Marc Brys

Former Cameroonian star forward and current football federation president, Samuel Eto’o, apologised to national team coach Marc Brys following a heated exchange earlier in the week.

Eto’o, who had been involved in a public altercation with Brys, confirmed that the Belgian coach would remain in his position after initial reports suggested he would be replaced as head coach of Cameroon.

Fecafoot had announced that Martin Ndtoungou would serve as interim head coach of the Indomitable Lions on Tuesday night following the clash between Eto’o and Brys. This decision came after their contentious first meeting, during which tensions ran high.

Brys, appointed by Cameroon’s Sports Ministry in April, faced resistance from Fecafoot, which expressed “great astonishment” at the unilateral decision.

However, Eto’o reversed the decision to sack Brys during a press conference on Thursday, emphasizing the importance of unity ahead of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers in early June.
“I apologise because during our first unfortunate meeting, there was a lot of emotion,” said Eto’o, the former Barcelona, Inter Milan, and Chelsea striker.

“The Cameroonian people are more important than us, and it is for them that we must work.”
Videos on social media had shown a fiery exchange between Eto’o and Brys at Fecafoot’s offices in Yaoundé, leading to Brys swiftly departing.

Eto’o, who has been president of Fecafoot since December 2021, was also seen arguing with an official from the Sports Ministry.

A statement from Fecafoot cited “disrespectful comments” by Brys and “an outright refusal to collaborate” as reasons for the initial decision to replace him. Ndtoungou was initially set to name the squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Cape Verde and Angola on 8 and 11 June,

respectively. However, with the recent developments, Brys will now issue the call-ups.
“Your mission is not an easy one despite your qualities and experience, but you should know that you will have our support,” Eto’o added.

Brys is now poised to lead Cameroon in his first international games, marking the latest development in the power struggle between Cameroon’s Sports Ministry and Fecafoot.

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