Indomitable lions defender, Benoit Assou-Ekotto has told Reuters Cameroon’s suspension from international football by FIFA because of alleged government interference in the country’s football federation will be resolved.
“It is sad to see the Cameroon federation in this kind of situation but I’m sure the problem will be solved soon and we will hopefully qualify for the World Cup,” the Tottenham Hotspur left back told the London based international news agency Friday.
The temporal ban imposed by the world’s football governing body came soon after Cameroon learned they would top the qualifying group because Togo fielded an ineligible player against them.
It’s feared that if the ban is not lifted by September 6 Cameroon will not be able to play their final game against Libya and may be expelled from the qualification process for the 2014 finals in Brazil.
Assou-Ekotto, 29, who joined Tottenham in 2006 from Lens, told Reuters he was happy at White Hart Lane despite local media speculation that he might soon leave the club.
Asked about his future, he said: “When you spend seven years somewhere it is obvious you are happy there. I am not a man who likes to swap his team every two or three years and the club is a part of my world. I want to stay at Tottenham.”
Assou-Ekotto is expected in Cameroon on Monday July 8, with a charity that is helping to save the sight of millions. “I want to help people to have a better life,” he said, before heading for a remote village to administer the 250 millionth treatment for river blindness for the international development organisation Sightsavers.
“As footballers we have a chance to do things that can save the life of someone and by this treatment we can help someone to enjoy life. I’d never heard of this treatment before and it will be a fantastic experience for me to go and learn about them.”
The World Health Organisation estimates that 37 million people are infected by river blindness – or onchocerciasis – in Africa with over 300,000 people already blinded by the disease. It is transmitted through the bite of a black fly, which breeds in fast-flowing water.