Cameroon football federation President Samuel Eto’o has laid bare the professional relationship that exists between him and the national team head coach Rigobert Song.
Shielding himself against widespread accusations that he looks down upon Song as the Indomitable Lions tactician, the former Inter Milan and Chelsea forward has stated that he will continue asking for the best from the national side.
Back in June, Eto’o was visibly furious after Cameroon struggled to salvage a point in their 1-1 stalemate against Burundi in a 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
The FECAFOOT boss was captured lecturing the Cameroonian team in the dressing room after the game, a role that many thought is reserved for Song as the side’s head coach.
“I am not happy,” he began. “I don’t care who you play against; you represent Cameroon. I am not happy at all. In my time, I missed the World Cup because I knew what problems I had. Those problems won’t repeat themselves while I’m president,” he added.
“Places in this team will be earned. Nobody, I repeat, nobody has a place guaranteed in this team. You must do your job. Whoever comes here to wear this shirt must do the job, or else, he goes and I will be happy to have the children play,” said the former Barcelona, Inter Milan and Chelsea striker.
Speaking this week in Senegal on an official World Cup tour, Eto’o said he does not undermine the position of Song with the national charges, further revealing that he pushed for the former Cameroon captain to be appointed coach of the West African football powerhouse.
“I fought for him [Song] to be the coach but I am the president,” Eto’o told ITV Senegal.
He added: “The coach is selected and he reports to me. I am within my rights to intervene if I find that something does not work well. That’s the role of the president.”
“My job is not only to come and say everything is fine, I defend my players, I will defend him [Song] until my last drop of blood but it is also my duty to say if something is not right. You know sometimes when passion flows, it is difficult to control yourself.”
“I have to anticipate all aspects because I saw certain situations which were not what I wanted when I was a player. Not because we were not good but because we had not realised and anticipated the fact that the expectations were so high and so we have to respond strongly from this experience today.”
“If I see a player not doing their job, I will wear my president’s costume and that of the federation. My executive committee and myself will take the necessary decision.”
Cameroon are in Group B of the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup alongside Brazil, Serbia and Switzerland.- Advertisement -