Turkish top-flight football club, Antalyaspor, on Wednesday, announced the dropping of Samuel Eto’o from their squad until further notice, in a bitter row over his post on social media.
The former captain of Cameroon had written on his Instagram account:
“Reminder –perhaps some people do not feel respect for me because I am black.”
“But I am not going to come down from the level I have reached. I have been in this game for 18 years,”
In another post, the 35-year-old former Barcelona star denied that the criticism was aimed at Antalyaspor chairman Ali Safak Ozturk, BBC News reports.
Eto’o called Ozturk his “brother” in his second Instagram post, adding that the Turkish people had supported him “wholeheartedly”.
“My message was to a person who criticises me unjustly for years and while he continues his criticisms, I kept winning trophies,” Eto’o wrote.
But that did not stop Ozturk from wielding the stick of criticism on him, as the Antalyaspor chairman lambasted Eto’o for his performances earlier in the season.
He said: “No player is above the interests of Antalyaspor. Everyone must know their place.”
The Turkish club also issued a statement stating that Eto’o would have a separate training programme until his case was heard by their executive board.
The tensions have been compounded by a dreadful start to the new season which has seen Antalyaspor taken just one point from four matches.