On Saturday, four-time African Footballer of the Year Samuel Eto’o was elected president of the Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT), deposing the incumbent after a contentious campaign just a month before the country hosts the African Cup of Nations.
The former Cameroon striker, who won the Champions League with Barcelona and Inter Milan, was elected with 43 votes from FECAFOOT’s general assembly.
“We have to bring footballers to the center of our policies,” he said afterward. “It is our role to ensure that those who play this discipline make a decent living out of it.”
Outgoing president Seidou Mbombo Njoya, who is also a vice president of the Confederation of African Football, received 31 votes.
Eto’o, will take over an organization riddled with infighting, mismanagement, and allegiance.
The world governing body of football FIFA has intervened several times to put an end to squabbling among FECAFOOT officials.
Eto’o was initially disqualified from running because he is also a Spanish citizen, but the ruling that no one with dual nationality could run for office was challenged and later overturned.
In a high-profile campaign in which he pledged to rid the game of corruption in Cameroon, he received widespread support from many former teammates.
From January 9 to February 6, Cameroon will host the African Cup of Nations. It was denied the right to host the tournament in 2019 due to preparation delays and security concerns.
During his playing career, Eto’o won the tournament twice with the Indomitable Lions.