Just one day after claiming he needed a miracle to play, Samuel Eto’o opened the door on Tuesday to his possible participation for Cameroon against Croatia in Manaus on Wednesday.
The 33-year-old striker and captain of his country seemed to have all but given up hope on Monday but 24 hours later he suggested his previous stance had been nothing but mind-games. “I can’t give you a satisfactory answer,” he told reporters. “And even if I knew, I wouldn’t say.
“Football is also about little pre-match secrets. It’s a strategy, it’s normal, all teams do this. I am hoping the gods grant me a miracle and that I am able to defend my dear, beautiful country,” Eto’o told Cameroon Radio-Television (CRTV).
“If this is not the case, I will always play my role as captain and especially as the big brother to push my young team-mates to victory.” He then followed that up with a later tweet adding: “The doctors have confirmed it! I probably won’t play.”
But on Tuesday the Indomitable Lions’ captain was singing from a different song-sheet, although he did point the finger at unmentioned figures disrupting the squad’s unity.
“I will do everything possible to be there with my team-mates. Whether I’m in the starting line-up or not, I’ll give my best to help the team win,” he said. “After the World Cup I’ll answer all those who’ve attacked me from near or far and I’ll give the names of those who are behind certain stories so Cameroonians can understand who loves this country. I won’t bow to blackmail. This group will stay one and united. It’s a shame that some people try to destabilise us but no-one will manage to create problems amongst us and that’s the truth!”
Cameroon were beset by a row over World Cup bonuses before heading to Brazil with the players deliberately missing their flight until a compromise was found with the government. It was the same issue in 2002 while in 2010 the squad was supposedly divided by internal disputes amongst various cliques.
They lost their opening match in Brazil to Mexico and face an all-or-nothing clash with Croatia on Wednesday. If they lose, they will have already booked their flight home.
Confederation of African Football (CAF) News
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