Anzi Makhachkala striker Samuel Eto’o could face a lifetime ban from football for refusing to play for Cameroon, says the country’s football federation spokesman Junior Binyam.
The 31-year-old striker recently completed an eight-month ban for his part in the Cameroon players’ strike, which lead to the Indomitable Lions refusing to play Algeria in a friendly.
It appeared that both Eto’o and the country’s football administrators had moved on from the regrettable incident when the former Barcelona striker was called up for Cameroon’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification clash with Cape Verde.
However, Eto’o declared his intention not to play, citing “amateurism and bad management” in the national set-up for his decision not to represent his country.
And his latest actions have certainly not gone down well, with Fecafoot spokesman Junior Binyam telling BBC Sport: “A player called to the national team is obliged to come – the decision is not up to the player.
“In accordance with the national team disciplinary code, a player can be suspended and the suspension can be extended to his club – he can be banned for life for not attending a convocation of the national team.
“The Federation President and the Minister of Sports and Physical Education have the prerogative to initiate sanctions against the player and it is for them to take responsibility.
“Defending the colours of your country must be the individual’s will. When someone is not in good metal shape to play for his country, to stand behind the flag, it is better he is not selected. That is the belief of the coach.
“But when a player has been called he is obliged to come. When a player is still active in his career he cannot decide to retire from international duty. According to regulations, the player has to oblige.”