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DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Cameroon soccer federation president and former star participant Samuel Eto’o apologized for kicking a person to the bottom in what he known as a “violent altercation” exterior a World Cup stadium early Tuesday.

Eto’o had paused to pose for pictures with followers close to Stadium 974 after Brazil beat South Korea 4-1. Footage circulating on social media confirmed him then reacting to feedback by a person holding a digicam.

The previous Barcelona and Inter Milan ahead was initially held again by folks in his entourage, however he then obtained clear and appeared to intention a kick on the man, who fell backwards to the bottom.

“I had a violent altercation with an individual who was most likely an Algerian supporter,” Eto’o wrote in statements posted in French and English on his Twitter account, citing a months-long marketing campaign by that nation’s followers towards Cameroon since their World Cup playoff in March.

“I wish to apologize for shedding my mood and reacting in a manner that doesn’t match my character,” mentioned Eto’o, who has represented Qatar’s World Cup organizing committee as a World Legacy Ambassador since 2019.

The person, Algerian social media character Mentioned Mamouni, later printed a video on YouTube saying he was the one that was attacked, and that he was at a Qatari police station to file a criticism towards Eto’o.

“Samuel had a struggle with me. He hit me, and the one accompanying him pushed me. I’m right here to lodge a criticism and he additionally smashed my digicam,” Mamouni mentioned.

He mentioned that Eto’o turned violent after Mamouni requested him whether or not he had bribed Gambian referee Bakary Gassama in a controversial World Cup qualifying sport between Cameroon and Algeria. Cameroon gained the second leg 2-1 within the remaining moments of the match and certified for the World Cup on the away objectives rule.

Algeria’s soccer federation filed a criticism with FIFA, soccer’s governing physique, demanding a replay of the match due to what it deemed had been referring errors made by Gassama. FIFA dismissed the criticism.

However Algeria’s grievance additionally carried over to the Cameroon workforce’s first official information convention in Qatar, sooner or later earlier than taking part in Switzerland. An Algerian reporter’s query to Cameroon coach Rigobert Music about having “purchased qualification” wasn’t answered.

Eto’o has been in Qatar as head of the delegation from Cameroon, which was eradicated within the group stage final week.

“I’ve been the goal of insults and allegations of dishonest with none proof,” he wrote Tuesday. ”I pledge to proceed to withstand the relentless provocation and day by day harassment of some Algerian supporters.”

Eto’o is a part of the FIFA Legends program that makes use of former gamers to advertise soccer and it was unclear in what capability Eto’o attended the sport Monday night time.

Qatari organizers of the World Cup mentioned Eto’o hadn’t been their visitor on the sport.

FIFA didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. A spokesman for the Cameroon federation didn’t instantly reply cellphone calls or reply to messages searching for remark.

Qatar’s authorities didn’t instantly reply to questions concerning the incident.

Eto’o performed at 4 World Cups for Cameroon between 1998 and 2014, and was elected to steer its soccer federation one 12 months in the past.

He known as on Algerian soccer officers “to place an finish to this unhealthy local weather earlier than a extra critical tragedy happens.”

“To Fennecs’ followers,” he mentioned, noting the Algeria workforce’s nickname, “I want that they discover peace and handle to beat the frustration of a painful defeat, now behind us.”


AP World Cup protection: and


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