Egypt coach Queiroz hits back at Eto'o over 'war' comments

Egypt coach Carlos Queiroz hit back at Samuel Eto'o for urging Cameroon's players to treat the African Nations Cup semi-final as if they are going to war, saying that the real war is to protect fans "that die in the doors of the stadiums".

Ahram Online , Tuesday 1 Feb 2022,
Carlos Queiroz
Egypt s Portuguese head coach Carlos Queiroz attends a training session at an annex of the Olembe stadium in Yaounde on February 1, 2022, two days ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 semi-final football match between Cameroon and Egypt (AFP)

In a pep talk with Cameroon's players earlier this week, former striker Eto'o, who heads the country's football association, urged them to give their all when they play in the Nations Cup last four on Thursday.

"Everything you've made so far must be completed on Thursday, with the same mentality. Prepare yourself because it is going to be a war. That's how you should play the game. A war," he said.

Egypt set up a mouthwatering semi-final clash against the hosts after earning a 2-1 comeback victory over Morocco after extra time in the quarter-final on Sunday.

The comments of Eto'o did not go down well with Queiroz, who said football is only played to give joy to people.

"People do everything to have one second of happiness, one moment of joy -- people that sometimes are starving; they have not too many things," he told reporters in English in Cameroonian capital Yaounde on Tuesday.

"So let's work together to create joy and happiness for them, that's our role, that's our job. I make an appeal to Mr. Eto'o who played professional football to correct his words because this is not a war, this cannot be a war.

"War is to protect people that die in the doors of the stadiums, people who don't have food to eat; that is the war. But a football game is joy," he added in reference to a crush that left eight fans dead at the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde during the last-16 game between Cameroon and Comoros last week.

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