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Caf Fines Eto’o $200,000 for Ethics Breach, Clears Him of Match-Fixing Allegations

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has handed down a $200,000 fine to Samuel Eto’o, the president of the Cameroonian Football Federation (Fecafoot), for breaching the organization’s ethics code. However, a separate investigation into allegations of match-fixing has yielded insufficient evidence to pursue charges against Eto’o.

The disciplinary panel found that Eto’o had “seriously violated the principles of ethics, integrity, and sportsmanship” by signing a contract with betting company 1XBET, which sponsors several Cameroonian football leagues and national teams. The contract is in breach of Fifa’s regulations, which prohibit individuals bound by its code from being involved in betting related to football.

Eto’o’s lawyers have announced their intention to appeal the verdict, which is unlikely to quell concerns over his leadership of Fecafoot. A group representing amateur clubs in Cameroon had previously called for his resignation due to his relationship with 1XBET and alleged “grave irregularities” within Fecafoot.

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The match-fixing allegations, which centered around a leaked phone conversation between Eto’o and Valentine Nkwain, president of Victoria United, were also investigated by Caf. However, the disciplinary panel concluded that there was insufficient proof to pursue charges.

The decision is unlikely to ease tensions in Cameroonian football circles. A group of administrators, including former members of Fecafoot and the president of the country’s Professional Football League, have written to Caf president Patrice Motsepe and Fifa boss Gianni Infantino urging them to speed up their investigations. The letter highlighted concerns about possible sanctions, including a lifetime ban, and claimed that many stakeholders are leaving the game due to abuses that have occurred over the past two years.

Eto’o’s tenure as Fecafoot president has been marked by controversy, and this latest ruling is unlikely to restore confidence in his leadership. The Cameroonian football community will be eagerly awaiting the outcome of any appeal process and hoping for greater transparency and accountability in the governance of the sport.

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