A FRENCH investigative journalist says he intends to sue the Cameroon Football Federation after the body published a statement accusing him of attempted blackmail and extortion.
Romain Molina, working with colleagues on this newspaper, helped bring the ZIFA referees sex scandal to a global audience.
The scandal led to a five-year ban being slapped on former ZIFA referees chief, Obert Zhoya, from all football activities by FIFA.
Molina also exposed scores of such sexual abuses cases in world football.
On Friday, Fecafoot claimed Molina had proposed to drop a story alleging irregularities within Cameroonian football if he was paid 25,000 euros by its president, Samuel Eto’o.
He claimed some players paid their way to be in the Indomitable Lions team at the World Cup finals.
In response, Molina has said the attempted blackmail came from someone impersonating him, adding this should have been clear to Eto’o since he had contacted the former Barcelona striker from his own phone regarding a separate matter in March.
“The only time I spoke to Eto’o was in March – and the conversation I had was to warn him about paedophilia cases in a big football academy in Cameroon,” Molina told BBC Sport Africa.
Molina asserts that a simple check of the phone numbers sending messages to Eto’o would have established that they came from different accounts.
“That so-called number pretending to be me is definitely not my number, nor my picture and the guy doesn’t know how to write French properly – there are big mistakes,” he added of a screengrab he has seen of the imposter’s WhatsApp messages.
“So it’s scandalous because when you look at the statement of Fecafoot, they didn’t say it’s me but everyone will believe it’s me.
“My lawyer will definitely sue because it’s a big lie.”
In its statement on Friday, Fecafoot explained that Eto’o – who took charge of the body last year – had been contacted “by a correspondent introducing himself as Romain Molina”.
“He purported to have documents and a flash drive containing audio and telephone conversations that were harmful to the image of the Federation and its president,” the statement read.
“Romain Molina added that he was ready to renounce the publication of these elements in exchange for a payment of 25,000 euros.
“Obviously, the president of Fecafoot never followed up on this request, because it is a principle not to negotiate with blackmailers. In any case, Fecafoot is considering filing a complaint with the French justice system regarding this attempted extortion.”
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