Four-time African Footballer of the Year Samuel Eto’o was elected president of the Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT) on Saturday, deposing the incumbent after a disputed campaign a month before the country hosts the African Cup of Nations.
“We have to bring footballers to the centre of our policies,” he said afterwards. “It is our role to ensure that those who play this discipline make a decent living out of it.”
Outgoing president Seidou Mbombo Njoya, who is also a Confederation of African Football vice president, got 31 votes.
Eto’o, 40, will take over an organisation long tainted by infighting, mismanagement and allegations of corruption.
Football’s global governing body FIFA has intervened several times to end bickering among FECAFOOT officials
Eto’o had initially been disqualified from running because he is also a Spanish citizen, but the ruling that nobody with dual nationality could run for office was challenged and later tossed out.
He received widespread support from many former teammates in a high profile campaign during which he pledged to rid the game in Cameroon of corruption.
Cameroon will host the African Cup of Nations from Jan. 9 to Feb. 6. It was stripped of the right to host the tournament in 2019 because of delays in preparation and security concerns.
Eto’o won the tournament twice with the Indomitable Lions during his playing days.