Samuel Eto‘o, a legend in the world of football, has issued an apology after a video that appeared to show him getting into a fight with a fan went viral on Tuesday morning. The video was posted on Twitter.
On Monday evening, the incident was captured on video outside of Stadium 974 shortly after Brazil’s 4-1 victory over South Korea in the World Cup.
It appears that Eto’o kneed the fan, who has since been identified as an Algerian YouTuber, in the face and then knocked him to the ground. The footage also appears to show Eto’o kicking the fan.
Reporters moved quickly to question Eto’o about what had occurred, but he appeared to be “out of his mind” and was quickly led away by security.
The striker who formerly played for Barcelona, Inter Milan, and Chelsea has issued a statement in which he expresses regret for what occurred.
“On last 5 December, after the Brazil-South Korea match, I had a violent altercation with a person who was probably an Algerian supporter,” the statement began. “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,” Eto’o said in a statement.
“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 Blida, I have been the target of insults and allegations of cheating without any evidence.
“During this World Cup, Cameroonian fans have been harassed and pestered by Algerians on the same subject. I would like to mention that the scenario of Algeria’s defeat was cruel but perfectly in line with the rules and ethics of our sport.
“All the appeals made 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.
“To Fennecs’ fans, I wish that they find peace and manage to overcome the disappointment of a painful defeat, now behind us.”