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Samuel Eto’o announces candidacy for presidency of Cameroon football federation

Eto'o announces bid to run for Cameroon football presidency
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Former Cameroon international and Barcelona legend Samuel Eto’o announces candidacy for presidency of Cameroon football federation

Former Cameroon international Samuel Eto’o is to stand as a candidate in the race for the presidency of his country’s football federation (FECAFOOT).

The former Barcelona, Chelsea, Everton and Inter Milan star made the announcement on his social media pages on Tuesday evening, saying he had taken the decision “out of love for Cameroon and passion for our football.”

“I am honoured and pleased to announce my candidacy for the presidency of the Cameroon Football Federation. After careful consideration, I have decided to take this initiative out of love for Cameroon and passion for our football,” Eto’o said in a statement on his social media late Tuesday.

“It is time to rebuild our football,” the four-time winner of African Player of the Year said.

He pledged to introduce a “futuristic and innovative project” that will revive the country’s local championships, beach football and women’s football.

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“I am presenting my candidacy with the groundbreaking commitment not to pocket a cent of the monthly allowance provided for the position of the federation president. These funds will be dedicated for the development of amateur football. I am running for this position in order to attract external funding,” the former Cameroon and Barcelona  star said.

The delayed Fecafoot elections are expected to take place on 11 December, with the Africa Cup of Nations set to start in Cameroon on 9 January.

Fecafoot has not announced when it will release the final list of eligible candidates who can run for the presidency.

Eto’o, 40, had an illustrious playing career, winning domestic and European titles in both Spain and Italy.

The four-time African player of the year is his country’s record scorer with 56 goals in 118 games and also enjoyed brief stints in the English Premier League with Chelsea and Everton, ending his playing career in Qatar.

At international level, he helped Cameroon win the Africa Cup of Nations in 2000 and 2002 and was a gold medallist at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

The announcement by Eto’o comes amid controversy in Cameroon after candidates with dual nationality had been told they could not stand in the elections. Eto’o was granted dual Spanish nationality during his time at Barcelona.

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So far, Eto’o is the third former Indomitable Lion to run as president of Cameroon’s football federation.

Jules Denis Onana and Emmanuel Maboang Kessack, who both played in the 1990 World Cup for Cameroon, are also standing – as is the interim president Seidou Mbombo Njoya along with football agent Ivo Chi.

Eto’o also will face another football legend, Geremi Njitap, former national team, Real Madrid midfielder.

Candidates have until 11 October to declare their intention to run.

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