MOSCOW, September 28 (RIA Novosti)
Anzhi Makhachkala striker Samuel Eto’o looks set to return to the Cameroon national side after a year of ugly disputes with the country's football authorities, the France Football magazine reported Friday.
Eto’o, 31, hasn’t been capped since last November after being banned by the Cameroon Football Federation for leading a players’ strike over late payment of bonuses and appearance fees.
"I have agreed to reconsider my position and put myself at the disposal of the Indomitable Lions," Eto’o said, two weeks before Cameroon’s Africa Cup of Nations second-leg qualifier against Cape Verde.
"It is led by one desire: to serve my country with the same faith, the same zeal and determination as in the past fifteen years," he said.
In January, Eto'o's 15-game suspension was cut to eight months after Cameroon President Paul Biya had reportedly asked the governing body to reconsider the ban.
The former Barcelona and Inter Milan forward Eto’o was set to return to the squad in September, when the suspension expired, for the first leg of the Cape Verde tie.
But he refused to do so, saying that “our national team continues to dwell in an environment characterized by amateurism and poor organization not compatible with professional sports” in a letter to the CFF.
Cameroon lost that qualifier 2-0, and the prospect of failing to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations for the second year in a row has reportedly caused Prime Minister Philemon Yand to urge Eto’o to reconsider his boycott.
Coach Denis Lavagne was fired in the wake of the defeat and new manager Jean-Paul Akono said he would also try to persuade Eto’o to return.
Eto’o has been capped by Cameroon 109 times and scored 54 goals, a national record.
The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations will be held in South Africa in January and February next year.
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