Head coach of Egypt, Carlos Queiroz, has said that Samuel Eto’o, who is now the Cameroon federation president, was out of line with his remarks urging his compatriots to prepare for “war” against their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations semifinal opponents ahead of Thursday’s meeting.
Egypt and Cameroon play each other at the Olembe Stadium, only 10 days after eight people lost their lives and 38 were injured during a stampede outside of the venue.
In a video after the Indomitable Lions’ quarterfinal victory over Gambia, Eto’o is seen speaking to the squad.
“We have one objective, our next [game], it’s Thursday,” Eto’o said.
“Everything you’ve done, you need to capitalize on it. Prepare yours, because it will be a war, my guys, a war.”
However, speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Queiroz said: “It’s an unfortunate comment and a very bad message to the people of Cameroon.
“I think he forgot that Cameroonian people died at the stadium several days ago, and so making this declaration of war before one game shows that he learned nothing from his time in professional football.
“It was a very, very unfortunate comment because football is not about war, it’s about celebration, joy and happiness.
“We are going to answer to war with football, we’re going to answer football with joy.
“We’re here to please the people, not to make people die, but to give them fun and some joy.”