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Fabricated Statement Attributed to Infantino Attacking Eto’o for His Thoughts on African Football

Misbar's Editorial Team Misbar's Editorial Team
13th January 2022
Fabricated Statement Attributed to Infantino Attacking Eto’o for His Thoughts on African Football
The statement attributed to FIFA president is made up (Getty).

The Claim

Infantino: Eto’o has plans that are unrealistic and impractical; Africa is not Europe.

Emerging story

Facebook accounts have recently shared an alleged statement attributed to Gianni Infantino, the FIFA president. In the statement, Mr. Infantino attacks Samuel Eto’o, the president of the Cameroonian Football Federation, saying that he could not come to an understanding with Mr. Eto’o as he has unrealistic and impractical views and suggestions regarding African football and Africa is not Europe.

Mr. Infantino allegedly added that it was not possible to grant additional seats to African teams to ensure equal representation in organizing the World Cup among the five continents. Mr. Infantino also allegedly struggled to understand why would Eto’o insist on giving a leadership seat to an African figure at the FIFA.

Some websites indicated that the statement came in response to a previous speech by Samuel Eto’o, in which he attacked FIFA and other federations.

A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body

Description: The screenshots show the purported claim shared on Facebook and media outlets.

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar’s team investigated the circulated claim and found it fake. The statement attributed to Mr. Infantino is made up and has no truth to it. No official or reliable source published the news either.

Misbar’s fact-checking team also refuted claims that the alleged statement was made in response to an alleged statement by Eto’o.

Eto’o said he takes “Sadio Mane, Mo Salah, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as examples,” adding that the three of “the Premier League’s main goalscorers come from Africa.”

The statements were made in the context of news that the Cameroonian Football Federation was under pressure to postpone the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon due to concerns that players would be infected with COVID-19.

The African competitions started on Jan. 09 and will continue until February 6, 2022. The Africa Cup of Nations was scheduled about six months earlier, but it was delayed because of the pandemic.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino arrived in the Cameroonian capital, Yaoundé, on Sunday, Jan. 09, to attend the tournament's opening ceremony. The opening match was held at the Paul Biya Stadium, between the national teams of Cameroon (host country) and Burkina Faso.


Translated by Ahmed N. A. Almassri

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