Thursday, August 1, 2019

'Samuel Eto'o is like my son, but he ignored me'

In an interview with the newspaper Le Messager published on August 1, 2019, the former coach of the Cameroon team, recently fired as deputy national technical director, decides on the dismissal of Clarence Seedorf and Patrick Kluivert, his immediate projects and his relationship with Samuel Eto'o. Excerpts from this interview of the 67-year-old technician:

Question: What has become of Jean Paul Akono since his dismissal from the National Technical Directorate? 

Jean Paul Akono: I have been unemployed since the abusive breach of the contract which bound me to the FECAFOOT and the National Technical Direction. But in terms of training, coaching, I sported my tracksuit and my pair of tennis. I remain available to all possible offers. That's what I know best and I think I still have the skills.

Question: Would you be a candidate to take the lead of the Indomitable Lions if the opportunity arises? 

Jean Paul Akono: I certainly look for work, but not only within the Indomitable Lions pennant. I do not make an obsession.There are lower selections that can benefit from my expertise. This means that all proposals from clubs or lower divisions of the national team are welcome. For example, we have CHAN looming on the horizon and knowing that we will always run after a first coronation in this competition, why not try my luck.

Question: Did the dismissal of Seedorf and Kluivert remind you of your mishap on the Indomitable Lions bench? 

Jean Paul Akono: No !!! Not at all ... From the moment when the methods of appointment within our national team are biased, this dismissal was already predictable. From the moment we do not follow an adequate framework in the choice of a breeder and that we rather attaches the services of people without proven experience, the logical continuation is what we lived. This does not surprise those who, like us, have reservations about the recruitment process of these two brilliant footballers in Cameroon. The only way to save these two coaches was to make an honorable run at the Egyptian CAN.

Question: What is your relationship with Samuel Eto'o now? 

Jean Paul Akono: Honestly, I could never forget this son in my life, considering everything he did for me. I am eternally grateful to him. You know, before my evacuation for Europe, it was Samuel Eto'o who had taken charge of all the care and all that goes with it ... But that does not prevent him as a father, as he likes to call me, that I can reframe him when I see that he is following a wrong path... I must tell you that Samuel Eto'o ignored me in every decision he made in Cameroonian football. However, I think that if he had come closer to his father than I am, he would have had my point of view which would certainly avoid the polemics and the shouts of voice that one sticks to him today. Never mind, he remains my son.