On April 1, 2021, French sports news website SportnewsAfric.com published an article informing that Samuel Eto’o had announced that he would be among the players of the national football team during the AFCON 2021 to be organized in Cameroon in January and February 2022.
The news was quickly picked up by social media users and relayed in numerous posts. However, the news is fake. This information is actually a hoax. The Sportnewsafrica.com later explained that the news was an "April fool" joke.
Samuel Eto'o, who celebrated his 40th birthday on March 10, has not made any such announcement on his social media accounts. In September 2019, the former player announced on his Instagram page that he was retiring from professional football. Since, then, there has been no news about a supposed resumption of his football career.
Also, no serious media outlet has announced any return of Eto'o to the national men's team. In addition, if the news was true, it would have been confirmed by sports authorities, whether the Ministry of Sports or the Cameroonian Football Federation (Fecafoot). But, they made no such move. This proves the rumor is unfounded.
Let’s also note that Samuel Eto'o’s name was not on the list of 25 players selected by coach Antonio Conceiçao for the official AFCON 2021 qualifiers matches against Cape Verde (March 26) and Rwanda (March 30).
"People usually start training when they are to play such matches. Have you seen him train anywhere? Is he playing with any club? Players can’t be selected for the national team if they are not playing for a club. He has had several opportunities to return to the national team but he did not do so. So, I can’t find a reason why he will do so now," commented a sports columnist on condition of anonymity.