Samuel Eto’o, Cameroon’s most famous football star, elected new national team president

Celebrated Cameroonian soccer great Samuel Eto’o has been elected president of the country’s Football Federation, easily winning a crowded field of 24 candidates.

Eto’o, currently a coaching consultant with German club Schalke, received 105 votes Saturday during a special congress to elect a new federation president and electoral commission chair. Football’s world governing body FIFA said it wants to follow the race closely.

“I would like FIFA to follow the election of a new president of the Cameroon Football Federation, and it should take place in the best democratic manner,” FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura said.

The former Chelsea, Barcelona and Inter Milan striker ruled out any threat to the governing body’s autonomy in his first speech to the congress.

“I will fight to protect Cameroon’s political autonomy,” Eto’o said. “I will also fight to respect the autonomy of Cameroon’s Football Federation and the autonomy of football in Cameroon.”

Eto’o is well known around Africa, playing for Cameroon and Barcelona during a long career, scoring 130 goals in 302 appearances.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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