Samuel Eto'o Blasts Ivory Coast, Algeria Coaches for Complaining About State of Pitch

Samuel Eto'o Blasts Ivory Coast, Algeria Coaches for Complaining About State of Pitch

Rene Otinga
updated at April 12, 2023 at 7:54 PM
In this article:
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
  • Eto’o played down complains from Ivory Coast and Algeria about the state of the pitch
  • The two sides are set to clash on Thursday at the Japoma Stadium, in must-win clash for the desert foxes
  • Algeria has had a wretched run in the AFCON so far, and need to beat Ivory Coast to boost their chances of proceeding to the last 16

Samuel Eto’o has issued a strong statement in response to complaints from some nations that the conditions in Cameroon do not favor them in the Africa Cup of Nations.

The likes of Algeria and Ivory Coast, through their coaches, have been on record complaining about the alleged poor state of the Japoma Stadium.

The Japoma Stadium is set to host the showdown game between Algeria and Ivory coast, with everything on the line for the North Africans.

For Ivory Coast, they only need a draw against Algeria to proceed to the last 16 without being affected by any of the other matches in the groups.

Ahead of the clash, Ivory Coast coach Patrice Beaumelle, as well as Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi both, called for the fixture to be moved to a different stadium.

But Eto’o, who is the Fecafoot President, issued a rejoinder, saying the tournament would not make any adjustments to please one person.

“I will not say anything about Japoma Stadium, but I just want to tell the officials of Algeria and Ivory Coast that, even FIFA president [Gianni Infantino] wanted to change the date of AFCON and couldn’t. We are not here to please anyone or give gifts,” the former Barcelona striker said as per Afrique Sports.

Amid complaints from the two coaches, the AFCON organizing committee met on Tuesday, January 18 where they concluded the Algeria-Ivory coast game would go on at the Japoma Stadium as planned.

“The pitch will be OK by Thursday. Specialists have already started working on it last Sunday. This is due to the current climatic conditions which do not allow grass to grow quickly on the ground. But a new method has now been employed”, Japoma Stadium’s coordinator Abel Calvin Ndjoke said.

Algeria, the defending AFCON champions, are bottom of Group E and need nothing short of a win to give themselves a chance at advancing.

They suffered a shock defeat to Equitorial Guinea and could only manage a 0-0 draw against Sierra Leone.

Nigeria maintain 100% record in AFCON

Elsewhere, President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the Super Eagles for progressing to the knockout round of the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

Nigeria emerged as Group D winners after bagging victories in all three games following wins against Egypt, Sudan, and Guinea-Bissau.

Rene Otinga photo
Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and