Samuel Eto’o has apologised for “reacting in a way that does not match my personality” during a “violent altercation” after Brazil’s win over South Korea on Monday.
A video was widely circulated on social media on Tuesday of Eto’o, who won 118 caps for Cameroon during a decorated playing career, clashing with a man outside Stadium 974 before appearing to knee him in the face.
In a statement posted on his Twitter account, Eto’o – who is now president of the Cameroonian Football Federation – apologised for his involvement in the incident, which he blamed on the ongoing fallout from Cameroon’s World Cup play-off win over Algeria in March.
The Algerian Football Federation called for a replay of the second leg after what they described as “scandalous” refereeing decisions.
Cameroon reached Qatar 2022 courtesy of Karl Toko Ekambi’s 124th-minute winner, and former Barcelona and Inter striker Eto’o believes Monday’s incident was the latest in a line of “relentless provocation and daily harassment” by Algeria supporters.
“On December 5, after the Brazil-South Korea match, I had a violent altercation with a person who was probably an Algerian supporter,” the statement read.
“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 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, I wish that they find peace and manage to overcome the disappointment of a painful defeat, now behind us.”
— Samuel Eto’o (@SamuelEtoo) December 6, 2022
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