Samuel Eto’o, the chief of Cameroon’s Football Federation (FECAFOOT), reportedly has not spoken to goalkeeper Andre Onana since the 2022 FIFA World Cup. This has drawn attention as the Indomitable Lions are seeking their first win in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations against Gambia. The fallout between Eto’o and Onana is believed to have occurred during the World Cup in Qatar when Onana was sent home early for disciplinary issues and subsequently retired from international duty. Although Onana has since returned to play for Rigobert Song’s side, controversy arose when he joined his teammates late for the current tournament in Ivory Coast. As a result of this, Onana missed Cameroon’s opening match of the competition. According to journalist Chris Wheeler from the Daily Mail, Onana and Eto’o have had no communication since the World Cup, and their relationship is described as “broken and irreconcilable.”
Cameroon is set to face Gambia on Tuesday in a crucial match, as they need a win to advance from Group C. Their advancement will depend on whether they can achieve a better result than Guinea does against Senegal. Since taking office as president of FECAFOOT in 2021, Eto’o has become a controversial figure in Cameroon. Recent rumors suggested that he had a falling-out with head coach Rigobert Song following their 1-1 draw with Guinea in the first round of the AFCON. However, these reports have been denied by FECAFOOT. If Cameroon fails to progress to the next round of the competition, Eto’o may face increased pressure as the former Cameroon defender.