FECAFOOT: OPEN WAR BETWEEN ETO’O AND ANTOINE BELL
cameroondailyjournal.com/The election for the post of president of FECAFOOT divides the three former Cameroonian internationals. The upcoming elections for the presidency of the “Cameroon Football Federation” (Fécafoot) continue to attract greed. While the poll is scheduled to be held around mid-December 2018, it’s time for big maneuvers. Application files are designed, alliances are formed, and enmities arise naturally.
The stakes divide the actors, in particular within the big family of the former international footballers where the friends of yesterday look in dogs of faience today. Three groups oppose each other with three leaders at their respective heads: Samuel Eto’o, Gerémi Sorel Njitap and Joseph Antoine Bell. The now three rivals have perfectly learned to know each other in the small world of Cameroonian and international football.
And if they share a single vision, that of the return of “football to footballers”, the succession of Tombi A Roko Sidiki to the presidency of FECAFOOT has finished undermining their relations.
The shadow of Eto’o behind Gilbert Kadji
We know very involved in the life of the Cameroonian football and the Federation in particular. It was he who was mandated by the President of the Republic to discuss with the “Confederation of African Football” (CAF) on issues relating to the organization of the “African Cup of Nations” (CAN) 2019. Even if his efforts have not borne the expected fruits. It is still he who proposed and obtained from the “International Federation of Football Association” (FIFA), the appointment of Dieudonné Happi, one of his lawyers, to the chair of the standardization committee of FECAFOOT.
Close to Ahmad and Gianni Infatino, the two leaders of CAF and FIFA that he invited to dinner at his home in Doha, Qatar, a few weeks ago, Samuel Eto’o does not dream of seeing FECAFOOT return in the hands of those he had long fought, from the time he was captain of the Indomitable Lions. Nor even in the hands of someone in whom he does not have complete confidence.
According to informed sources, the former goalscorer of FC Barcelona and Inter Milan is determined to support a candidacy: that of Gilbert Kadji. Although she is still unofficial. Sports commentators are convinced in any case: Samuel Eto’o (almost) always thought that Gilbert Kadji reflects the ideal profile. Co-founder (with his late father, Kadji Defosso) of the “Kadji Sport Academy” (KSA) training center which formed the legendary Cameroonian number 9, Gilbert Kadji was President of the club Fc Roven in 1997, and then of Fc Sion in Switzerland in 1999.
Moreover businessman, Gilbert Kadji is seen in circles of Cameroonian football as a man “honest”, a “man of principles”, a “man who is not hungry” and therefore “will not hurt the financial resources of FECAFOOT “if his candidacy is made official and he comes to be elected. In addition, it is thanks to him that Samuel Eto’o had the career he had. In addition to having found and trained at the KSA, languages say he would also have financed several trips to the star striker Indomitable Lions from the time he was looking for his way to Europe.
And for all these things, Samuel Eto’o is (a little) to him. Sources say that Samuel Eto’o thought of Gilbert Kadji first, for the position of President of the FECAFOOT Standards Committee. But the plans of the two men changed at the last minute. Probably because Kadji would have liked to have a bigger job?
Gerémi Njitap, the man from Bidoung
But the (too) great involvement of Samuel Eto’o in the process quickly created friction between him and his “false brother” Gerémi Njitap. If Eto’o would blame him for having “made a deal” with the former executive of FECAFOOT – Njitap who was part of Tombi A Roko Sidiki’s office – the former number 8 of the Indomitable Lions would also prepare his candidature file. Sources attest that he is not only supported by the “Minister of Sports and Physical Education”, Pierre Ismael Bidoung Mkpatt, but also by the former President of FECAFOOT, disqualified by the new Code of Ethics. the Federation.
According to some indiscretions, meetings are multiplying between the three men, to find ways and means to counter the plans of Samuel Eto’o. And to get there, Gerémi Njitap would even think of appealing to Abdouraman Hamadou, a former close friend of Eto’o, the one thanks or because of whom the elections of Iya Mohammed in 2013 and Tombi A Roko Sidiki in 2015 were canceled.
The role of Etoile Filante de Garoua’s president should be to cancel the electoral process given the (in) direct involvement of a Samuel Eto’o whom some suspect of giving instructions to Dieudonné Happi and of certain irregularities observed. since the validation of the statutes of FECAFOOT.
And secondly, to have the 2008 CAN’s best right-back candidacy approved by the member clubs of the “Association of Amateur Football Clubs of Cameroon” (ACFAC). All the shots are obviously good. And the friendship between Eto’o and Njitap could not resist the maneuvers and other low blows fomented in one camp as in the other. According to some confidences, Eto’o even swore to Njitap that as long as he is alive, he will never be elected president of FECAFOOT.
Bell forge his arms
Meanwhile, Joseph Antoine Bell took the lead. The former guardian of the Indomitable Lions officially declared his candidacy on November 25th. Supported by ancient legends such as Roger Milla and François Omam Biyik, Joseph Antoine Bell summarizes his project in 11 points.
He particularly wishes to “rethink” the National Technical Direction by giving it the place of “heart of the reactor”; to develop football by encouraging the creation of associations clubs. “We will go where the Federation is not present: in neighborhoods and schools,” he promises. Bell also wants to pay special attention to women’s football and ongoing talent training.
The former guardian also wants to “modernize the administration of FECAFOOT in the framework of improved governance, tied to the best international practices in this area”. Not to mention the elite championship, professional management of national selections, and infrastructure construction.
Already a candidate in 2015, Joseph Antoine Bell had to suffer a defeat against the machine set up by Tombi A Roko. Even if he is not one of the potential favorites for the post of president of FECAFOOT, the former doorman Union Douala and Olympique de Marseille believe in his chances. Like everyone else. The war is open.