The appointment of Belgian coach Marc Brys at the head of the Indomitable Lions is definitely not going well with the Cameroonian Football Federation (Fecafoot) and its president, Samuel Eto’o. The body, which had complained on April 2 of having “learned, like all Cameroonians”, on television, the appointment of Rigobert Song’s successor, confirmed, in a press release published on April 3, its decision not to “recognize these appointments.”

In addition to the Belgian technician, several personalities appointed to join the selection management have notoriously bad relations with Samuel Eto’o. Among them, former internationals Alioum Boukar and François Omam-Biyik, who will join Marc Brys’ technical staff, had already held these positions under the direction of Portuguese coach Antonio Conceiçao, but were sacked by the president of Fecafoot just after the African Cup of Nations (CAN) in 2022. As for Benjamin Banlock, appointed sports coordinator of the selection, he was secretary general of Fecafoot before resigning in May 2022, six months after the election of Samuel Eto’o, whose management he denounced.

Invoking Presidential Decree No. 2014/384 of September 26, 2014 on the organization and operation of the national selections, Fecafoot considers that the sporting, technical and administrative management of these falls within its competence. “I understand the reaction of the federation, which sticks to what this decree stipulates. This could be judged by FIFA as interference by political power and lead to a suspension of Fecafoot,” a former Cameroonian international intervenes anonymously. To be validated by FIFA, Marc Brys’ contract, expected in the coming days in Yaoundé, must in fact be signed by Samuel Eto’o.

The very firm position of Fecafoot and its offensive communication caused the Ministry of Sports to react. Cyrille Tollo, technical advisor to Minister Narcisse Mouelle Kombi, vigorously contests the arguments of the body. “To claim that Fecafoot was not involved in the recruitment process is false. She sent to the Ministry of Sports the application files she had received, those of the Portuguese José Peseiro, the Italian Fabio Cannavaro and Hervé Renard, under contract with the French Football Federation as coach of the The French women’s team until August 31.

“Short memory”

Le Monde was able to obtain the letter sent on March 12 to the Minister of Sports by Fecafoot and signed by Samuel Eto’o, in which the names of Renard, Peseiro and Cannavaro, their detailed CV and their salary benefits actually appear, “at amounting to €2.4 million per year for Renard and €1.5 million for Cannavaro and Peseiro. In total, around twenty coaches applied. » The three technicians, contrary to information that had circulated, were not however interviewed, but they were part of an initial “short list” of eight, before this was reduced to three names. According to our information, the last three candidates selected were, in addition to Marc Brys, his compatriot Yves Venderhaege and the Pole Czeslaw Michniewicz.

Cyrille Tollo also gave details on the remuneration of the new coach. “He asked to come with two deputies, Joachim Minunga and Giannis Xilouris, for a monthly salary of 40,000 euros, with the responsibility for them to share this sum. The State will also cover the salaries of other members of the staff and selection management, as has always been the case. »

The advisor to the Minister of Sports also criticizes Samuel Eto’o “for having a short memory. When, in February 2022, he decided to dismiss the Portuguese coach Antonio Conceiçao and his technical staff to appoint Rigobert Song, he did so because he had received the agreement of the Presidency of the Republic. And Narcisse Mouelle Kombi was not opposed to it. »

The two press releases published by Fecafoot are perceived by the government “as a frontal attack by Samuel Eto’o against the Head of State, continues Cyrille Tallo. Mr. Eto’o is not a collaborator of Mr. Biya, and he does not manage the national selection as he wishes, because the State devotes significant resources to the success of the Indomitable Lions. He must understand that the decision to appoint Marc Brys is that of the President of the Republic, and not that of the Minister of Sports. »