Eto'o set for Cameroon return after suspensionBy YUH TIMCHIA | Wednesday, August 22 2012 at 18:46
Suspended eight months ago by the Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT) for leading a player strike over unpaid match bonuses, Samuel Eto'o features on an initial list of players who could be called up for the next round of qualifiers to next year’s edition of Africa’s most prestigious football tournament.
Head coach Denis Lavagne, who had reportedly contemplated stripping the 31-year-old striker of the captain’s armband, says it is highly probable that Eto’o will make the final list expected to be released by August 24.
The Indomitable Lions travel to Praia, Cape Verde in three weeks for an away leg qualifier of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations to held in South Africa.
Lavagne said he included the four-time African footballer of the year in his preliminary squad because he would be a big boost to the team and that he has not shown an unwillingness to be capped.
Eto’o whose return to the team still remains uncertain and former international Roger Milla were special guests of Sports Minister Adoum Garoua at the just ended London Olympic Games.
The minister is believed to have summoned the pair to discuss Eto’o’s return to the team and the impasse Cameroonian football is currently mired in.
There have been persistent calls in Cameroon for the return of the Anzhi Makhachkala striker, who has attained the status of a national hero.
Samuel Eto’o and Milla, who was stripped of his position as honorary president of FECAFOOT early this year, are against FA authorities whom they say are managing the country’s football shoddily.
Analysts say the return of Samuel Eto’o after the 15 match ban slammed on him in December 2011 would solve just one among the litany of hitches plaguing the four-time African champions.
Strained relations between some of the players that have largely contributed to the dismal performance of the Lions will have to be dealt with.
Eto’o and midfielder Alexander Bilong Song are not in talking terms. He accuses the striker of orchestrating the sidelining of his uncle and former team captain, Rigobert Song Bahanag just before the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Song Bahanag is current team manager of the Cameroon squad.
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