Samuel Eto’o is a living legend in the soccer world. He helped lead Cameroon to a Gold Medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Australia, won 3 La Liga titles with Barcelona, and won 2 Champions Leagues with FC Barcelona (2006, 2009).
Unfortunately, being such a high-profile figure in the Soccer world makes him an easy target for heckling fans at events like the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Samuel Eto’o is now apologizing after a violent altercation with one of these heckling fans that reportedly accused Eto’o of bribing referees.
Those false accusations got Samuel Eto’o so worked up he was filmed violently kneeing the heckler in the head while his entourage tried to restrain him. And Eto’o has since issued an apology after the footage below went viral:
👊 Agresión de Samuel Eto'o a un aficionado a la salida del partido entre Brasil y Corea
— El Partidazo de COPE (@partidazocope) December 6, 2022
As you can see after the 30-second mark in that video which has since been viewed over 5 million times, Samuel Eto’o violently knees the heckling fan in the forehead. This prompted a swift apology from the former Barcelona striker on social media:
If that tweet isn’t loading for you, Eto’o’s apology reads (in part):
“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 March 29 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 the 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.”
The altercation occurred after Brazil’s 4-1 win over South Korea. The former Barcelona and Inter Milan striker was posing for photos in front to the stadium when the reported ‘Algerian’ fan heckled Samule Eto’o about bribes.
According to ESPN, the person Eto’o attacked is an Algerian social media personality named Said Mamouni. He later took to YouTube saying he’d filed a complaint with the Qatari police. Mamouni said “Samuel had a fight with me. He hit me, and the one accompanying him pushed me. I’m here to lodge a complaint and he also smashed my camera.”
It remains to be seen what happens next for Samuel Eto’o in Qatar as this is now an ongoing police investigation. Samuel Eto’o is currently the Cameroonian Football Federation President which will certainly complicate things on the FIFA side as well.