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FORMER ARSENAL & COTE D’ IVOIRE STAR, EBOUE IN SUICIDE THOUGHTS

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Former Cote d’Ivoire international and Arsenal cult hero Emmanuel Eboue, is reportedly considering committing suicide after being left completely broke following a bitter divorce and mismanagement of his fortunes.

Sports Village Square has gathered from UK tabloid that, Daily Mail that the former successful international footballer barely has enough money for an Oyster bus card.

The player who featured in the Cote d’Ivoire’s 2-1 loss to Nigeria in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinal clash at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg, South Africa, is also estranged from his three children

He’s been forced to hand over his North London mansion now dodges bailiffs.

At the peak of his career, Eboue played in a UEFA Champions League final, earned millions in a seven year English Premier League career and slept in a palatial home and drove expensive cars.

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But in a shock revelation former Arsenal cult figure Emmanuel Eboue admitted to another British tabloid, Sunday Mirror he’s penniless and has been close to suicide.

The 34-year-old who appeared for Arsene Wenger‘s side between 2004 and 2011 has admitted he’s seriously considered taking his own life after financial mismanagement has left him skin and a bitter divorce that has meant he is estranged from his three children.

Eboue, who also earned £1.5m a year at Galatasaray, now dodges bailiffs at his mansion

   At the height of his career at the Emirates he took home a seven-digit sum every year during his time in North London, earning a further £1.5 million annually playing for Turkish giants Galatasaray.

However, with his former wife Aurelie being awarded of all the couple’s assets, he has been forced to dodge police and bailiffs following a court order – insisting he hand over his home in Enfield to her.

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Heartbreakingly, the former Gunner – whose infectious smile and unorthodox defending helped build a cult following among football fans across the globe – has been unable to visit his kids since the estrangement from Aurelie in June.

The likeable former Cote d’Ivoire international is also sadly estranged from his three children

   He is inconsolable at not being able to see his nine-year-old son Mathis and two daughters Clara, 14, and Maeva, 12, this Christmas.

To add to that he has been grieving since his late grandfather Amadou Bertin, who brought him up, sadly died after a brave battle against cancer.

To top it all he lost his brother N’Dri Serge, who died in a motorbike crash.

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Eboue, who won the free-kick that led to Sol Campbell’s goal for Arsenal against Barcelona in the 2006 Champions League final, has been hit hard with misfortune which has brought him to the brink of suicide.

Speaking to The Sunday Mirror he said: ‘I want God to help me. Only he can help take these [suicidal] thoughts from my mind.

“It hurts me a lot [not to see his children]. They used to call me. But now, no contact. It pains me to be alone without them.’

A deadline for troubled Eboue to surrender ownership of the mansion he once shared with Aurelie passed earlier this month, meaning a judge will sign the transfer if Eboue doesn’t.

The Mirror also reported his former wife will rent out the Enfield property but he says he lacks the funds for a barrister or lawyer to help fight his cause.

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So now he waits with his bags packed in the hallway for the dreaded knock on the door which will see the law force him to vacate the property he bought in happier times.

He added: ‘I am in the house but I am scared. Because I don’t know what time the police will come. Sometimes I shut off the lights because I don’t want people to know that I am inside. I put everything behind the door.

‘My own house. I suffered to buy my house but I am now scared. I am not going to sell my clothes or sell what I have. I will fight until the end because it is not fair.’

His plans to return to the Premier League for one final payday with Sunderland last season faded after FIFA slapped him with a year’s ban following a dispute with a former advisor.

The former Cote d’Ivoire international who gained 79 caps for his country is remarkably free of bitterness at his former partner Aurelie – but blames previous advisors for FIFA imposing their damaging 12-month playing ban on him.

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Eboue, who admits he had a limited education growing up in his country’s capital Abidjan, as he focused on trying to become a professional footballer, also concedes he was ‘naive’ with his fortune.

He accepts he allowed his former wife to take control of their financial affairs, but claims hangers-on bled him dry as they saw him as an easy target because he was never given good advice on how to manage his fortune.

Staggeringly Eboue even recalls having to sign financial paperwork while he was supposed to be training when he was visited by bank staff at London Colney, Arsenal’s training ground.

The Arsenal cult hero now sleeps on a friend’s floor washes his clothes by hand because he can’t afford a washing machine and can just about find the money for an Oyster card – despite once having a bank-busting balance in the black.

But he thanks the PFA for their help and is sharing his story as a cautionary tale to help young African footballers learn from his errors.

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He needs a job and would love a role at his former club Arsenal to help tide him over – but says he would be ’embarrassed’ if he saw some of his former team-mates, including Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp, because of the current plight he finds himself in.

Eboue’s is a tragic situation which, despite the glamour and undreamed riches available at the top tier of English football, is a heart-breaking and salutatory tale for those in charge of the Premier League.

Yet despite his troubles he is still fighting hard, as he thanks God, adding: ‘I didn’t want what has happened. I don’t wish it on anybody.’

 

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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International Football

New twist in Cameroon football coach crisis

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA

The coaching crisis in Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions has taken a new dimension as the football federation, FECAFOOT, led by former international, Samuel Eto’o goes in direct confrontation with the coaching crew appointed by the sports ministry which also picks the bills.

  According to a Cameroon official who will not like to be named as he was not authorised to speak on the matter, the claims and counter claims of both the sports ministry and the FECAFOOT led by Eto’o had been heard and decided by the conciliation and arbitration chamber of the Cameroonian national Olympic committee, which is a court in charge of sports cases in Cameroon.

  “What is in contention is not the position of the Belgian coach, Marcc Brys, but that of the Cameroonian assistants attached to him.”

  The source explained to Sports Village Square that although the employment of Brys by the sports ministry was initially contested by Eto’o, the former player has come to accept the situation.

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  “In Cameroon, there is always a techenical crew of nine to 11. The foreign coach is allowed to bring in two foreign assistants, while the others are always Cameroonians.

  In this case, the sports ministry approved the list of two foreign assistants by Brys while also announcing another set of local assistants that included former international, François Omam-Biyik, one of the stars of Italia ‘90  and the scorer of the goal that gave Cameroon a 1-0 win over a Diego Maradona-inspired  Argentina.

  “That is where the problem is. FECAFOOT also submitted a list of technical crew that included Brys and his two foreign assistants but dropped the names of the local assistants with new ones.”

  In essence, there are two lists with both having three names as same, but differ on the rest.

 According to the source, the list submitted by the sports ministry was upheld by the tribunal which threw aside that of FECAFOOT.

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  In another twist, FIFA has already removed the name of Marc Brys from the profile of Cameroon on its website. Only the name of national women’s coach, Jean-Baptiste Bisseck is listed.

The removal of Brys’ name is happening a second time as it was first removed at the end of last month before being reinstated.

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International Football

Cameroon’s appointment of Brys as manager suspended by sports tribunal

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Marc Brys

Cameroon’s appointment of Belgian Marc Brys as head coach was suspended by the country’s top sports tribunal on Tuesday following the petition of an amateur football club.

The country’s sports ministry stirred controversy last month when it named 61-year-old Brys as manager of the Indomitable Lions without consulting the football federation (FECAFOOT).

The move sparked a dispute between the sports ministry and FECAFOOT, which said the government had made a unilateral decision.

In response, it asked its president Samuel Eto’o to propose a national coach and other management staff for the national side within 72 hours, deepening its standoff with the sports ministry.

Eto’o kept Brys as head coach but named different assistants, technical, medical and administrative staff.

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An amateur club, meanwhile, took the matter to the Arbitration and Conciliation Chamber of the Cameroon National Olympic and Sports Committee.

In a provisional ruling on Tuesday, the court suspended the FECAFOOT appointments while it fully examined the matter. Concerned parties have 24 hours to appeal.

FECAFOOT in response said it “reserves the right to refer these decisions to FIFA, as they hinder the preparation process for the forthcoming sport events.

“The Emergency Committee of FECAFOOT will meet immediately to take appropriate measures,” it said in a statement.

Soccer’s world governing body FIFA has strict rules against government interference in national federations and has frequently banned countries when governments get involved in federation affairs.

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The president of the Cameroon Association of Amateur Football Clubs, Balla Ongolo Henri, had previously said Eto’o’s appointments would damage Cameroon’s image and disrupt preparations for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers next June.

Brys, 61, penned a contract on May 8 as head coach of the Indomitable Lions following the dismissal of Rigobert Song in February. FECAFOOT did not attend the signing ceremony.

The sports ministry says it has acted in accordance with national and international regulations.

Reuters

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Amokachi, Adebayor and Amanda Dlamini confirmed for CAF African Schools Championship Finals

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African football legends, Emmanuel Adebayor, Daniel Amokachi and Amanda Dlamini are some of the top names that have been confirmed for the Continental Finals of the CAF African Schools Football Championship 2024 scheduled in Zanzibar between 21 – 24 May 2024.

The CAF African Schools Football Championship is the school’s competition that includes over 44 African countries with over 800 000 participants of Boys and Girls under the age of 15.

This is the second edition of the competition that is not only focused on Football but also on a number of programmes including Young Referee’s Programme, Young Reporter Programme and Safeguarding. 

Adebayor, CAF Player of the Year in 2008, represented Togo at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany for their only appearance at the tournament. Ex-striker for Arsenal, Manchester City, Real Madrid, and others, the Togolese star has had a successful career, earning over 85 caps with Les Eperviers.

Nigerian football star Amokachi played 42 international matches for the Super Eagles. He participated in the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups and was part of the team that won the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations in 1994 and the Olympic Games in 1996.

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Former Banyana Banyana (South Africa) captain Dlamini played in two TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations competitions where they finished third and second in 2010 and 2012, respectively. She is one of the few footballers, both in the men’s and women’s national teams to reach 100 caps.

Dlamini recently made history when she became the first female to be part of the world commentary feed at the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023.

Also on the list are local stars Abdi Kassim Sadalla, former Tanzanian National Team Captain, and Hilda Masanche, Head coach of the Tanzania U17 Women’s National Team.

The Legends will feature in various activities to promote and support football development among African youth.

The finals will bring together talented young players from across the continent, providing them a platform to showcase their skills and passion for the game.

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-CAF

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