African Football - Cameroon suspension will be resolved, says Assou-Ekotto

Cameroon's suspension from international football by FIFA because of alleged government interference in the country's football federation will be resolved, defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto said on Friday.

Reuters
World Cup - Cameroon suspension will be resolved, says Assou-Ekotto
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Benoit Assou Ekotto

"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 Reuters in an interview.

The provisional ban imposed by FIFA came soon after Cameroon learned they would top the qualifying group because Togo fielded an ineligible player against them.

If the ban is not lifted by Sept. 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, said 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, known for his forthright opinions and social conscience, believes there is more to life than football and said it was important to give back to communities.

On Monday, he will return to Cameroon 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.

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