A former international soccer player has apologized after footage of him brutally attacking a cameraman was filmed at the World Cup in Qatar.
Former Real Madrid and Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o described the encounter as a “violent altercation” that saw him kick an Algerian YouTuber at full force.
The shocking footage shows the cameraman saying something to Eto’o that causes him to lose his temper. He turns around and squares up to the Algerian before rushing toward him as the YouTuber keeps filming.
The camera is then wrestled from the YouTuber’s hands and falls onto the floor which he attempts to pick up. But as he does so, Eto’o runs over and violently kicks him making a sickening sound and sending the cameraman to the floor.
The Algerian YouTuber has since been identified as Said Mamouni who has reported the ex-soccer player to the police after he claimed Eto’s knee connected with his chest.
“I’m at the police station to file a complaint against Eto’o. He hit me, and someone else with him pushed me and destroyed my camera,” Mamouni says on his YouTube channel.
The dispute revolves around a World Cup qualification game between Cameroon and Algeria. The Algerian Football Federation lodged an appeal with FIFA on the grounds of “scandalous refereeing that distorted the result”.
“I asked him how is Bakary Gassama [the referee that took charge of Cameroon versus Algeria] and if he gave him a bribe. He then hit me and destroyed both my camera and mic,” says Mamouni.
“I will take my rights here in Qatar as it is a state of law, he did hit me in the chest and the face and in my elbow.”
Eto’o took to Twitter to post his “sincerest apologies” for the incident that took place on December 5 after the Brazil versus South Korea game.
“I had a violent altercation with a person who was probably an Algerian supporter. I would like to apologise for losing my temper and reacting in a way that does not match my personality. I apologise for this unfortunate incident.”
However, Eto’o stops short of apologizing to the YouTuber and instead rallies against “relentless provocation and daily harassment of some Algerian supporters.”
“I have been the target of insults and allegations of cheating without any evidence,” he adds.