Samuel Eto’o: When Cameroon Police Investigated Former Barcelona Star Over Match-Fixing Allegations

Samuel Eto’o: When Cameroon Police Investigated Former Barcelona Star Over Match-Fixing Allegations

Babajide Orevba
updated at March 14, 2024 at 7:46 AM
In this article:
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  • Samuel Eto'o was once investigated by Cameroon authorities over match-fixing allegations
  • Scandals have continued to rock the country's football, with the latest about age-fraud
  • The FECAFOOT president himself was once in the middle of serious controversies

Following the recent age fraud scandal that rocked Cameroonian football, we look at when Samuel Eto'o was investigated by local police over match-fixing allegations.

The four-time African Player of the Year has been the president of the country's football federation (FECAFOOT) since 2021.

In July 2023, he was accused of fixing matches in Cameroon’s second tier after leaked audio attributed to him speaking to someone alleged to be Valentine Nkwain, the president of Victoria United and known as ‘Bobdidy’, was made public.

Samuel Eto'o, Cameroon, FECAFOOT, Victoria, Match fixing.
Samuel Eto'o was once enmeshed in a match-fixing allegation in Cameroon. Photo Credit: Chris Brunskill.
Source: Getty Images

Why was Samuel Eto'o investigated?

Reports had it that the former Barcelona striker promised to manipulate matches to ensure that the club is promoted.

Both Eto'o and Nkwain denied the allegations, as the African football legend claimed it was not his voice recording, The Guardian reports.

Police later stated that an investigation had been launched into what they brand as an “abuse of authority and corruption”.

It was gathered that several witnesses were invited to speak on their involvement.

Further claims had it that it could involve as many as 40 persons, as wider accusations were heard.

Details of the alleged recording of Eto'o

The former Chelsea striker was alleged to have informed Nkwain as regards a match Victoria lost 1-0 in December 2022 that “there are things we can do. Don’t worry, we’ll give you your three points and we will suspend the referee,” he is alleged to have said.

“Opopo [Victoria’s nickname] must go up to the first division. This is our goal. This is our federation. Victoria United will go up.”

Eto'o denies audio claims

The FECAFOOT boss, in a chat with Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport in June last year claimed he was “talking to a friend, someone who invests in football and wants to make his club one of the best in Cameroon”.

A number of Cameroon officials beckoned on FIFA to take action against the football legend after a series of public incidents, including a “violent altercation” with an Algerian journalist at the World Cup in Qatar in 2022.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) opened an investigation against the former striker, but no action was eventually taken.

Nathan Doualla suspended over alleged age fraud

Sports Brief earlier reported that Wilfried Nathan Doualla was dropped from Victoria United's squad for their upcoming Championship playoff, with Cameroon's FA stating he is under investigation for age fraud.

The Indomitable Lions winger was an unused substitute throughout AFCON 2023 as Rigobert Song's team exited at the Round of 16 phase to eventual winners, Nigeria.

He is one of 62 players who has been mentioned in the latest incident age-related scandal to come out of Cameroon and Africa, with one media house reporting that some were as much as 10 years older than claimed.

Babajide Orevba photo
Babajide Orevba
Babajide Orevba is a CAF accredited Nigerian journalist and HOD of the Local Desk with over 10 years of experience in media landscape.He studied NCE Political Science/Social Studies, AOCOED.