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Africa News of Saturday, 29 January 2022


AFCON: Eto’o blames CAF for coronavirus issues

President of the Cameroonian Football Federation, Samuel Eto’o President of the Cameroonian Football Federation, Samuel Eto’o

President of the Cameroonian Football Federation, Samuel Eto’o, says the Confederation of African Football should be held responsible for the doubts raised over COVID-19 protocols at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations tournament, which has had several players test positive prior to games, Saturday PUNCH reports.

Ethiopia, Comoros, Cape Verde, Tunisia, Senegal and Burkina Faso are some of the teams that have had cases of COVID-19 prior to games at the tournament, which sparked reactions.

Burkina Faso issued a formal letter of complaint to CAF after they returned five positive COVID-19 antigen tests on the eve of their opener against hosts Cameroon, with their captain Bertrand Traore labelling it a “scandal.”

However, former Barcelona and Chelsea striker Eto’o absolved FECAFOOT and the government of Cameroon of any blame. Rather, he said the agency carrying out the COVID-19 testing was provided by CAF 100 per cent after UEFA’s suggestion.

“The general agency for COVID-19 testing was provided by CAF 100 per cent,” Eto’o said in a radio interview on Balafon 90.3FM in Yaoundé monitored by our correspondent.

“You will recall that when there was a debate on whether to go ahead with the tournament our European partners (UEFA) said we (CAF) should bring an agency to guarantee the players are well looked after in Africa and they will not have problems when they return to Europe.

“I was opposed because we can trust in our own agency.” Eto’o added that the Indomitable Lions had an extra motivation to win the AFCON amid a deadly stampede at the Olembe Stadium last Monday.

Linking Super Eagles' AFCON loss to Buhari's video call idiotic —Femi Adesina They defeated Comoros 2-1 to set up a quarter-final match with Gabon on Saturday (today) at the 50,000-capacity Japoma stadium in Douala.“It’s a beautiful championship ongoing but it has been tarnished,” he added.

“Allow me first of all and on behalf of the federation that I am President tender my condolences to the bereaved families that lost lives in the stampede and a speedy recovery to those who were injured.“Some have paid the ultimate prize, their lives, just by showing their love for the Cameroon team by being at the stadium.

“As we have said to ourselves (players and officials of FECAFOOT) if we need a bit of extra motivation now we have an extra motivation to bring a little bit of joy to these families.”Cameroon are gunning for their sixth AFCON title, having won it five times in 1984,1988, 2000, 2002 and 2017.