The 2023 African Cup of Nations (CAN) concluded on February 11 with the victory of the host country, Ivory Coast.

But on the side of Cameroon, winner of the competition five times in its history, this last edition did not go as planned with the early elimination of the Indomitable Lions against Nigeria in the round of 16.

Samuel Eto'o, the president of the Cameroon Football Federation, however prefers to dismiss the term failure and evokes a "poor performance for our objectives and what we had prepared. We also knew that it was going to be a tough competition. Now we have to think about the future.”

Samuel Eto'o also clarified the future of Cameroon's current coach, Rigobert Song, and declared that he was not going to be extended at the head of the national team.

"For my part, I think he has brought a lot to this team. But the laws of football being what they are, we have not achieved our objectives and the Executive Committee and I do not see ourselves being renewed the contract."

He also adds that he wants to take the time to study several profiles to choose the ideal successor.

Regarding the resignation he presented at the beginning of February, Samuel Eto'o emphasizes that he wanted to "put on the table the question of whether things were being done well or not."

He admits to being "happy" to have received the motion of support from his Executive Committee and declares his desire to complete his mandate, evoking a "great pressure" and the desire to "do something unique ".

He also discussed the case of goalkeeper André Onana and the rumors surrounding his participation in the CAN.

“It’s not about André Onana or Samuel Eto’o. It’s about an institution and the players, who have rights and duties.”

Refusing to overwhelm him, Samuel Eto'o nevertheless wanted to recall that "the institution must always remain above everyone" to ensure "a living environment and rules".

Concerning the investigation by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) implicating him and the suspicions of "inappropriate behavior" targeting him, Samuel Eto'o explains that he "was never questioned about what I was accused of".

“I therefore instructed my lawyers to file a complaint against CAF and for responsibilities to be established. It was too easy to sully everything I was able to build during these few years in the world of football,” said Samuel Eto'o.

CAF “launched far too early in a press release” and considers this “unacceptable behavior”.

Regarding possible Cameroonian political actors opposed to his presidency, Samuel Eto'o claims to have a "very good relationship with the secretary general of the presidency", but concedes to having a "difficult relationship" with the Minister of Sports.

Asked about his political ambitions, Samuel Eto'o explains that "the majority of the problems I encounter are because I am believed to intend to become head of state in Cameroon."

He adds: "Today I have so much to do that it's not something that crosses my mind."

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