28th September, 2012
Captain Samuel Eto’o has ended his stand-off with Cameroonian soccer officials and confirmed he will play again for his country next month, state radio reported on Friday.
The 31-year-old striker’s decision followed a meeting with Prime Minister Philemon Yang this week.
“After the demand of the highest authority of the republic, I have accepted to reconsider my position and to make myself available for the Indomitable Lions, with the sole desire to serve my country with the same fire, ardour and determination as I have for the last 14 years,” Eto’o said in a statement read over state radio.
Eto’o, the only player to be crowned African Footballer of the Year four times, had been assiduously courted over recent weeks following Indomitable Lions’ shock loss in an African Nations Cup qualifier in the Cape Verde Islands.
He had refused to play in the match, labelling the set-up around the team “amateurish”.
Last year, he led a boycott of a friendly game in Algeria in a row over unpaid bonuses.
Cameroon’s attempt to overcome the 2-0 deficit in the second leg of their final-round qualifier against the Cape Verdians, which will be played in Yaounde on October 14, has centred on getting back Eto’o, who has 53 goals in 106 international appearances.
The aggregate winners will advance to next year’s finals in South Africa.
Cameroon fired French coach Denis Lavagne after the shock defeat in Praia and replaced him with Jean-Paul Akono, who left for Europe on Thursday to speak to other disaffected players about returning to the team.
Tottenham Hotspur defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Stade Rennes midfielder Jean Makoun also refused recent call-ups, saying they were unhappy with the way the Cameroon team was run.