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Egypt coach Queiroz hits out at Eto’o for calling AFCON semi-final ‘war’

By AFP
02 February 2022   |   12:45 pm
Egypt coach Carlos Queiroz hit out at Cameroon legend Samuel Eto'o for sending a "very bad message" after likening Thursday's Africa Cup of Nations semi-final between the sides to a "war".

Egypt’s Portuguese head coach Carlos Queiroz attends a training session at an annex of the Olembe stadium in Yaounde on February 1, 2022, two days ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 semi-final football match between Cameroon and Egypt. (Photo by Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFP)

Egypt coach Carlos Queiroz hit out at Cameroon legend Samuel Eto’o for sending a “very bad message” after likening Thursday’s Africa Cup of Nations semi-final between the sides to a “war”.

Eto’o, who is now president of Cameroon’s Football Federation, made the comment to his team in a video widely published on social media.

“Prepare yourselves because this is going to be a war,” Eto’o says.

“That is how we need to approach this match. A war! You can’t let this opportunity pass you by.”

The semi-final will be played at the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde in the first game to be staged there since eight people died and 38 were injured in a crush before Cameroon beat the Comoros on January 24.

“It is a very bad message to the people of Cameroon. I think he forgot that Cameroon people died at the stadium a couple of days ago,” Queiroz told media after an Egypt training session in Yaounde.

“To make this declaration of war before a game I think he has learned nothing from being in professional football.”

The former Real Madrid coach called on the Confederation of African Football to take action against Eto’o, the one-time Barcelona striker who twice won the Cup of Nations as a player.

“It was a very very, unfortunate comment because football is not about war, football is about celebration, joy, it’s about happiness,” Queiroz said.

“We are here to please the people. We are not here to make people die. We are here to have fun, to have joy.

“So to challenge the team of Cameroon to come and play a war against us I think it’s something that I leave to CAF because a comment like this deserves a red card.”