Samuel Eto'o recalled by Antalyaspor after racism comments

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport
Samuel Eto'o
Samuel Eto'o moved to Antalyaspor in June 2015

Turkish club Antalyaspor lifted Samuel Eto'o's suspension and included him in the squad to face Galatasaray on Sunday, after warning him over his future conduct.

Former Cameroon captain Eto'o was suspended by the club until further notice last month after allegedly accusing the club leadership of racism on social media.

Antalyaspor chairman Ali Safak Ozturk said Eto'o had expressed regret over the posting and had insisted it was not aimed at the club leadership.

"We hope he will behave more carefully in the future and make a positive contribution to the team." Ozturk announced during a meeting with the squad.external-link

35-year-old Eto'o had written the controversial post on his Instagram account last month in reference to a public criticism, saying:

"Perhaps some people do not feel respect for me because I am black."

Eto'o later made a second post denying the criticism was aimed at Antalyaspor chairman Ali Safak Ozturk, who had criticised Eto'o for his performances earlier in the season. Ozturk said at the time, "no player is above the interests of Antalyaspor. Everyone must know their place."

Eto'o called Ozturk his "brother" in his second Instagram post, adding that the Turkish people had supported him "wholeheartedly".

"My message was to a person who criticises me unjustly for years and while he continues his criticisms, I kept winning trophies," Eto'o wrote, with the Turkish club stating Eto'o would have a separate training programme until his case was heard by their executive board.

Eto'o, who came off the bench in the first half, could not prevent Antalyaspor from losing 3-1 at Galatasaray.

His side remain bottom of the Turkish Super Lig.

Three-time Champions League winner Eto'o 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 since August amid intense rumours in the close season that he would join Istanbul arch rivals Besiktas.

Four-time African footballer of the year Eto'o enjoyed much of his club success at Barcelona, where he played from 2004 to 2009.

His trophies there included three La Liga crowns, alongside former Brazil forward Ronaldinho, and two Champions League titles.

He also won the Champions League, under Jose Mourinho, at Inter Milan in 2010, and has an Olympic gold medal, which he won with Cameroon in 2000.

Eto'o is the leading all-time scorer in the Nations Cup with 18 goals and he appeared at four World Cup finals - 1998, 2002, 2010 and 2014 - playing in eight matches and scoring three goals.

Cameroon's 54-goal all-time leading scorer won back-to-back African Cup of Nations with his country at the 2000 and 2002 editions.

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