Antalyaspor drop Eto’o in social media racism row
TURKISH top flight club Antalyaspor said yesterday that star striker Samuel Eto’o would be left out of the squad until further notice in a bitter row over comments on social media.
Former Cameroon international Eto’o, who in a glittering career has played for Barcelona, Inter Milan and Chelsea, had written on his Instagram account he was not being given respect for his achievements because of his race.
Eto’o had moved to Antalyaspor in June 2015 as the keystone of the club’s bid in the southern Mediterranean resort city to find national and even European success.
But his stint has turned sour in the past weeks amid intense rumours in the close season Eto’o would join Istanbul arch rivals Besiktas.
Tensions have been compounded by a dreadful start to the new season which has seen Antalyaspor reap just one point from four matches.
Eto’o had written on his Instagram account in Turkish, “Reminder – perhaps some people do not feel respect for me because I am black.”
“But I am not going to come down from the level I have reached. I have been in this game for 18 years,” he added, posting a screenshot from Wikipedia of all the cups he has won.
Eto’o did not specify to whom he was targeting his criticism but later posted another message insisting it was not directed at Antalyaspor chair Ali Safak Ozturk.
But Antalyaspor said in a terse statement on its website that a meeting of its board had decided to leave Eto’o out of the squad until further notice.
Turkish commentators interpreted Eto’o’s remarks as a response to apparent criticism by Ali Safak Ozturk on his early-season performance.
“No player is above the interests of Antalyaspor. Everyone must know their place,” the chair was quoted as saying.
Turkey is the latest stop in Eto’o’s distance-spanning career, which has also seen him play for Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala in the Caucasus region of Dagestan. –