“Access to stadiums is now granted only after presentation of a less than 48 hours old Covid test.” This statement attributed to Samuel Eto’o Fils, president of the Cameroonian Football Federation (Fecafoot) is currently circulating in Cameroonian Whatsapp groups (since Saturday, January 15, 2022). Supposedly, the statement was posted on the former striker’s official Twitter page.
Indirectly, the statement is claiming that there is no longer the need to be fully vaccinated against the Covid 19 to access stadiums for the AFCON2021 matches being played in Cameroon. Meanwhile, the health protocol validated by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the host country requires fans to be “fully vaccinated” against Covid-19.
It appears that the screenshot is fake and no such message was ever posted on the Twitter page. “It is a fake. He never said such things,” commented Jean-Bruno Tagne, the president’s campaign manager, when interviewed by SBBC on January 16.
On the said Twitter page, SBBC found no such post. The last post was made on December 11, 2021, and it reads: “I’ll be remembering today as one of the proudest moments of my life. I’m deeply grateful to be elected as the new president of @FecafootOfficie. Every vote represents the energy and ambition of our football family to take our beloved sport to a level we’ve never seen before.”
No such post was also found on the Twitter account of the Cameroonian Football Federation, nor the website and social media pages of the CAF, the administrative body in charge of the African Cup of Nations.
All these facts prove that the screenshot being shared on WhatsApp was doctored. It appears in a context where the health protocol is already dampening fans’ enthusiasm. Some of them are even asking for the relaxation of the protocol to allow a higher stadium occupancy rate. The proponents of such a solution include MP Cabral Libii, president of the Cameroon Party for National Reconciliation (PCRN).
Filling stadiums with students is indeed an old Russian and North Korean trick that demonstrated its effectiveness. But till now, fan zones and bars are filled, not by students, but by real fans during matches… The health protocol needs to be reviewed. Period…” he wrote on his Twitter page.