Samuel Eto’o is arguably the most popular and famous Cameroonian sports personality alive.
He is without doubt loved by the biggest percentage of natives and his presence at social events brings traffic to a halt.
He has deservedly earned cult hero status over the years; on the pitch for country and the many elite clubs he played for.
Eto’o featured Barcelona, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Real Mallorca among others, and also scored a plethora of goals – winning a sackful of titles of forthwith attaining legendary status.
His iconic footballing heroics have made many a fan shed tears of joy every time he donned the Indomitable Lions stripe; culminating into being an Olympic gold medalist, two-time African Champion and four-time African Footballer of the Year. Eto’o has certainly earned it.
The African legend is now into administration and the same fans who cheered him on the pitch believe he can take Cameroonian football to the very top level.
Only one man though is uncomfortable with Eto’o’s cult hero status in Cameroon.
President Paul Biya, the 83-year-old Head of State, is not ready to share the limelight with anyone, not even Eto’o.
At the opening ceremony of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations at the Stade Paul Biya Olembe, Eto’o was a no show, yet he was present.
Football256 understands that the President’s protocol team advised Eto’o not to show up in the stands.
The reason? They felt it would trigger discomfort for President Biya if Eto’o’s face appeared on the big screens and the crowd ululated in excitement.
Eto’o followed all the events that happened that day in the VIP Lounge of the stadium, but his absence forced many to wonder if he was present.
This writer also landed on a video of Eto’o and celebrated Congolese artiste Fally Ipupa disagreeing on the latter mentioning Eto’o’s name.
Fally was about to go out to perform and he told Eto’o; “I am going to mention your name and tell the fans to give you a shout out.”
Eto’o replied; “Please my friend, don’t do this to me. The big man is around. It won’t be good.”
Eto’o being the president of the Fédération Camerounaise de Football (FECAFOOT) was expected to play a role in the opening ceremony. But alas, he didn’t.
We wait to see if he will play a key role at the closing ceremony tonight, especially since President Biya is slated to attend.