Cameroon Football Federation President Samuel Eto’o who was also a former striker has apologised for a “violent altercation” after attacking a man outside the World Cup stadium following Brazil’s 4-1 victory over South Korea earlier this week.
On Monday, fans were taking selfies with Eto’o outside Stadium 974 in Doha when he was approached by a man who was filming him and made some comments that angered Eto’o, as seen in videos that went viral on social media.
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At first, the former footballer was held back by his entourage, but he broke free and appeared to kick the man in the face, who fell to the ground. The man was able to stand up and did not appear seriously injured.
“I had a violent altercation with a person who was probably an Algerian supporter, I would like to apologise for losing my temper and reacting in a way that does not match my personality,” Eto’o said in released statements in French and English on his Twitter account on Wednesday.
He also said that he has been “the target of insults and allegations of cheating without any evidence” after a controversial Cameroon-Algeria match in March.
“I pledge to continue to resist the relentless provocation and daily harassment of some Algerian supporters.”
— Samuel Eto'o (@SamuelEtoo) December 6, 2022
Eto’o, who is also a Qatar 2022 World Cup ambassador, called on Algerian authorities and its football federation “to put end to this unhealthy climate before a more serious tragedy occurs”.
On Monday, Algerian YouTuber Said Mamouni published a video wearing the same clothes as in the first video and said that he has been the victim of the attack.
Mamouni showed a broken camera and said that Eto’o had hit him in the chest, chin and jaw. He added that he was at a police station in Doha to file a report against Eto’o.
“Samuel had a fight with me. He hit me, and the one accompanying him pushed me. I’m here to lodge a complaint and he also smashed my camera,” Mamouni said, claiming that his comment about the March game angered Eto’o.
He said he had asked Eto’o if he had bribed Gambian referee Bakary Papa Gassama, who oversaw the match between both teams in the African Cup of Nations.