FECAFOOT Elections Wahala: "I stopped calling Roger Milla 'father' since 2014' Samuel Eto'o Fils claps back


Samuel Eto'o Fils has reacted to Roger Milla's press outing of last week, where he(Roger Milla) asked the goleador to stop calling him 'father', if he refuses to join his former colleagues to support the candidature of Joseph Bell Antoine as President of FECAFOOT.

In a clap back to Milla's declarations, Eto'o said he stopped calling Roger Milla 'father' since 2014, after Milla, whom he looked up to as a role model, decided to join others to betray and humiliate him for their selfish interests.

Read Eto'os reactions translated from French to English by Henriette Thatcher.

"I listened with surprised some funny remarks from certain footballers and former footballers, concerning elections at FECAFOOT, calling on footballers to gather, and criticizing contrary actions which they called 'Betrayal'. 
Hearing these words, I recalled many painful memories, with the most recent one of 2014. After the disastrous World Cup in Brazil, administrators of the Cameroonian Football decided to divide and oppose footballers. That time, I gathered footballers with Roger Milla at the head, Joseph Antoine Bell, Michel Kaham and other former lions who had beautifully written their names in the history of our football.

In the course of this, I declared my wish of seeing Cameroonian footballers united, so that they can  be integrated in the many decision making groups of FECAFOOT, In order to be part of important decisions taken concerning our football. 

I am going to tell you the time, energy and logistics I invested for that cause, which at that time I think was what everyone had in mind.


Finally, while some men like Joseph Antoine Bell decided to follow their personal selfish ambitions, and decided to run for the Presidency of FECAFOOT, Roger Milla choose to rally behind those who were at the helm of affairs like Tombi à Roko and the many others who lead our football to the rocky edge, we are struggling to fix today. 

Where was the notion of 'Football Family'? This no doubt had a different meaning to Roger Milla at that time. As such, the famous 'family'  had been sacrificed on the altar of personal selfish ambitions and financial gains to other.

Finally, I found myself in the middle of the water all alone, in a situation which we were supposed to face. I was seen as the black leg and scapegoat, and  I had to face the rods of the people we all wanted to overthrow,  but which none of my most influential peers accepted in the end, because of selfish personal financial gains.

You all witnessed the attacks that came my way, just because I wanted my football family to gather around one common goal, such as the international influence and well being of our football, even at the end of their career as Cameroonian footballers. 

I saw this episode as a betrayal,  a stab in the back. I was bruised, because today, our humble and beautiful project of 2014 would have saved us from what I am hearing today as a call to support former players abandoned to themselves, and who are living in indecent conditions.

I do my best to assist my colleagues, and I would love to do more. Unfortunately, I cannot do everything alone, and only a federal politics at the level of FECAFOOT can stop the facts that a former Lion will be found homeless on the streets at the point of dead. 

The case of Norbert which was brought to my attention  by the Mayor of Douala 11, is just an isolated case that I told all of you, because it was on the media. There are many other cases. I handle the way I can, and I don't take any glory for it, because I know there are ways of doing better. 

I was waiting for  this group of former Lions to show prove of solidarity in such cases, Well!!

Since the 2014 episode, I took a distant from my peers. I stopped calling Roger Milla, whom I regularly called on phone. Since 2014, if he was attentive, he should have noticed that I had stopped calling him 'father'. 

I will confess that I had to fight hard to stop calling him 'father', because Roger Milla was my role model and it was he who encouraged me to play football and to perform well  in this demanding sport. He is no doubt one of the best footballers that this world has ever known, but I don't feel the need to call him 'father' anymore, because I think he does not deserves it. 

I simply took the resolution to work alone with my conscience, for the growth of the Cameroonian and African football. That was the only way for me not to get into further betrayals and regrets.

The process which has been taken to have a stable federation, does not give room for egoism. We have to invest in stabilizing this federation. I am engaged in this, and I will get right to the end of it, even if it will cost my life, because to me, Cameroon is more than anything.

I laugh when I hear Roger Milla saying that I should cancel the oath I signed with Gilbert Kadji. Gilbert Kadji has done so much for me, more than my all my other peers. I call him 'father', because he truly deserves it. He believed in me, took me like his son, invested in me, and what I am today, I owe it to him. Can I say such about Roger Milla? No!.

Moreover, when Roger Milla decided to support Tombi à Roko in 2015, to the detriment of his brother Joseph Antoine Bell, did he sign an oath with Mr. Tombi? Looks like he did. 

I hear Roger Milla say only footballers can manage football; can I remind him that Gilbert Kadji whom I just spoke of, and who has helped many Cameroonian footballers to shine was never a footballer? Do I need to remind him that all the presidents and coaches who have helped those senior players to shine and perform have never been footballers most of them? The football family is not only made up of footballers. All those delegates who will be taking part in the election of Wednesday, are major football actors, without forcefully being footballers. They invest their time and money, most often to the detriment of their family lineage.

Our origins and ethnic groups should not be a criteria to manage our football. They cannot guide my choice and order my reasoning. Cameroonians of all walks of life have to benefit from my availability and my experience. 

I will never forget what Captain Tataw Stephen confided in me in the presence of Roger Milla and Joseph Antoine Bell. A secret which the former Captain of the Lions wanted to make public, but which I persuaded him, to save the other two icons from shame. A secret which today, perfectly summarizes all the drama happening and the unhealthy nervousness of some elders. 

I am here to serve, and I will do that against all odds.

We have a unique opportunity to save our football from what we have always fought against. Let us not fall in to the trap of division, manipulation and victimization. 

Football is beautiful. It is my family. I owe everything to it and I will always defend it. 

Bring out all your claws like a Lion. A word to the wise.

Thoughts: 'Never give up in difficult times, for it is in difficult moments that we recognize tough people".

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