On Saturday, Samuel Eto’o said his election as president of the Cameroon Football Federation, announced earlier in the day, was “one of the proudest moments” of his life.
The four-time African player of the year gained 43 votes to beat acting president Seidou Mbombo Njoya, who collected 31.
“I’m deeply grateful to be elected as the new president,” the former star striker said on Twitter.
“Every vote represents the energy and ambition of our football family to take our beloved sport to a level we’ve never seen before,” Eto’o added.
After the result was announced at Hotel Mont Febe in Yaounde, Eto’o’s supporters exulted
The vote was held because the Court of Arbitration for Sport in January annulled Njoya’s victory in a 2018 election.
When filing his candidacy on November 17, Eto’o, a four-time African footballer of the year, said: “I will be the next president of the federation despite all the cheating.”
Eto’o had said Njoya, who he supported in 2018, had “failed miserably”.
Eto’o received the support of three other candidates who withdrew in the days before the vote, as well as another Indomitable Lions legend Roger Milla and former Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi.
Eto’s campaign focused on promoting women’s football and eliminating corruption in the Cameroonian game.
He won the African Cup of Nations in 2000 and 2002 as well as Olympic gold in 2000, on each occasion in a penalty shootout. He scored in both the 2000 finals.
He won the Champions League with Barcelona and Inter Milan and had spells at Real Madrid and Chelsea.
He will quickly face his first challenge when Cameroon hosts the African Cup of Nations in January, a tournament delayed a year by the Covid-19 pandemic.