Cameroonian police have reportedly opened an investigation into claims that Barcelona legend Samuel Eto’o was involved in a match-fixing scandal.
The 42-year-old, who also played for Inter Milan, Chelsea, and Everton, was accused of assisting in the fixing of matches in Cameroon’s second division after a recording of him allegedly speaking to Victoria United president Valentine Nkwain was made public.
According to reports, Eto’o, the president of the Cameroonian Football Federation (Fecafoot) since December 2021, allegedly promised to promote second-division club Victoria United by manipulating matches.
Those claims have been denied by Eto’o and Nkwain, while Victoria United was promoted.
However, it has now been reported that the police in Cameroon have opened an investigation into alleged “abuse of authority and corruption.”
Eto’o allegedly told Nkwain in the recording, “There are things we can do, but you have to be very discreet, brother.”
“Don’t worry, we’ll give you your three points, and we will suspend the referee. Opopo [Victoria’s nickname] must go up to the first division. This is our goal. This is our federation. Victoria United will go up.”
Speaking on the allegations, Eto’o told the newspaper in June that he was only “talking to a friend, someone who invests in football and wants to make his club one of the best in Cameroon.
“I just reassured him by saying that I would have done everything possible to avoid any refereeing errors against him,” he added.
The investigation comes on the heels of reports that FIFA is allegedly under pressure to remove Eto’o from his role after a group of Cameroonian football officials called on them to take action.
Aggrieved groups, which include the president of the professional football league of Cameroon and a former Fecafoot vice president, wrote a letter to FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Patrice Motsepe, questioning how he has been allowed to continue ‘to illegally impose himself on the Fecafoot presidency’ after a series of public incidents.
Furthermore, a CAF investigation into “certain alleged improper conduct” of Eto’o has since been opened in early August, a few weeks after leaked audio emerged claiming to implicate the 42-year-old in a match-fixing scandal, which he strongly denied.