News24

Eto'o ban cut to eight months

2012-01-07 14:52

Johannesburg - A 15-match ban imposed on Cameroon captain Samuel Eto'o for sparking a players' strike has been reduced to eight months, the national football federation said on Saturday.

The original suspension of the four-time African Footballer of the Year triggered widespread anger in a central African country reeling from their failure to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.

Officials discussed the ban in a meeting which began on Friday and continued past midnight amid reports that President Paul Biya wanted the disciplinary action reconsidered.

Eto'o will miss a 2013 Cup of Nations eliminator against minnows Guinea Bissau and 2014 World Cup qualifiers against more formidable opponents, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Libya.

The 30-year-old striker, who won UEFA Champions League medals with Barcelona and Inter Milan, moved to Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala last year in a deal that reportedly makes him the highest paid footballer in the world.

Vice-captain Enoh Eyong had a two-match ban for his part in the strike halved and the $2 000 fine imposed on defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto for ignoring national team call-ups has been scrapped.

The strike in Morocco last November after non-payment of match fees led to a friendly against Algeria being cancelled and Cameroon had to pay $500 000 to compensate for lost television revenue and ticket sales.

SAPA