Samuel Eto’o breaks silence after vicious World Cup attack | Football
Samuel Eto’o has apologised for attacking a YouTuber after Monday’s World Cup clash between Brazil and South Korea but says he is the victim of a long-running provocation campaign from Algerian supporters.
The former Cameroon striker – who is now president of his nation’s Football Association – was filmed in a confrontation with vlogger Said Mamouni outside Stadium 974 in Doha following Brazil’s 4-1 victory, appearing to knee the filmmaker in the face.
Mamouni said afterwards that the altercation started when he asked Eto’o if he had bribed referee Bakary Gassama, who had angered Algerian fans earlier this year after a string of poor officiating decisions saw Cameroon progress to the World Cup following a controversial playoff in March.
The Algerian FA even submitted an appeal and called for the match to be replayed due to ‘scandalous refereeing’ – a request that was rejected – and Eto’o has now confirmed that Monday night’s attack centred around these allegations.
While Eto’o did offer an apology for his behaviour, he says it was the culmination of months of abuse and insinuations from disgruntled fans and has urged the Algerian FA to step in.
In a statement titled ‘My since apologies’, Eto’o wrote: ‘On last 5 December, after the Brazil-South Korea match, I had a violent altercation with a person who was probably an Algerian supporter.
‘I would like to apologise for losing my temper and reacting in a way that does not match my personality. I apologise to the public for this unfortunate incident.
‘I pledge to continue to resist the relentless provocation and daily harassment of some Algerian supporters.
‘Indeed, since the Cameroon-Algeria match on 29 March in Blida, I have been the target of insults and allegations of cheating without any evidence.
‘During this World Cup, Cameroonian fans have been harassed and pestered by Algerians on the same subject.
‘I would like to mention that the scenario of Algeria’s defeat was cruel but perfectly in line with the rules and ethics of our sport. All the appeals made by the Algerian Football Federation to the competent jurisdictions have been rejected.
‘I therefore call on the Algerian authorities and Federation to take their responsibilities to put an end to this unhealthy climate before a more serious tragedy occurs.
‘To Fennecs’ fans [Algerian fans], I wish that they find peace and manage to overcome the disappointment of a painful defeat, now behind us.’
Mamouni says he reported Eto’o’s attack to the police in Qatar and claims another member of the Cameroonian’s entourage destroyed both his camera and microphone.
MORE : YouTuber reveals he asked Samuel Eto’o about a referee bribe before attack at World Cup
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