Samuel Eto’o apologised on Tuesday after a viral video showed him attacking an Algerian YouTuber outside Doha’s Stadium 974 on Monday evening.
Taking to Instagram, the former Barcelona and Inter Milan star posted a story reel entitled “My sincerest apologies.”
“On last 5 December, after the Brazil-South Korea match, I had a violent altercation with a person who was probably an Algerian supporter. I would like to apologise for losing my temper and reacting in a way that does not match my personality. I apologise to the public for this unfortunate incident,” the statement said.
However, the football legend and current head of Cameroon’s football association devoted the rest of the statement to condemning the behaviour of some Algerian fans.
“I pledge to continue to resist the relentless provocation and daily harassment of some Algerian supporters. Indeed, since the Cameroon-Algeria match on 29 March in Bilda, I have been the target of insults and and allegations of cheating without evidence,” he said.
In the video released on Monday, Eto’o was seen taking selfies with fans, after which he attacked a man holding a camera. The man, who appeared to be hit with a knee to the face, fell to the floor.
The man was later identified as Algerian Youtuber Said Mamouni, who posted a video to TikTok saying the he had lodged a police complaint.
A video posted to Mamouni’s YouTube account from earlier in the World Cup showed him interviewing Cameroonian fans and alleging that their team had paid bribes to officials.
The allegations relate to Cameroon’s 2-1 World Cup qualifier clash with Algeria earlier this year, during which the North African side has two efforts ruled out by referees.
Algeria’s football association later pledged to challenge the “distorted” result and demanded a replay.
In his statement, Eto’o called Algeria’s defeat “cruel but but perfectly within the rules of our sport”, adding that Algerian fans had “harassed” Cameroonians over the defeat.
“All appeals by the Algerian Football Federation to the competent jurisdictions have been rejected. I therefore call on the Algerian authorities and Federation to take their responsibilities to put an end to this unhealthy climate before a more serious tragedy occurs,” Eto’o said.