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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 19, 2008

Eto'o a no-show for match honouring Mandela

Cameroon and South African officials traded accusations on Wednesday after Samuel Eto'o failed to arrive in South Africa for a match honouring Nelson Mandela.

Barcelona striker Eto'o was due to play for Cameroon in Wednesday's international against the 2010 World Cup hosts in an annual challenge match honouring the former South African president.

The three times African Footballer of the Year failed to arrive, however, despite being named by the Cameroon Football Federation in the squad for the match in Rustenburg, some 200km north west of Johannesburg.

Cameroon coach Otto Pfister told Reuters the South African Football Association had botched arrangements for tickets and visas for several key players, including Eto'o.

Also absent were captain Rigobert Song and Newcastle United full-back Geremi.

The South African Football Association said they had paid for a business class ticket for Eto'o but he failed to board a flight in Frankfurt on Tuesday.

"The airline confirmed to us that a boarding pass had been issued for him but that he did not get on the plane and was a no show. We tried to make alternative arrangements but were unable to locate him," said South African Football Association chief executive officer Raymond Hack.

In the game, Bernard Parker bagged his fourth goal in three internationals to earn 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa a 3-2 win.

The striker pounced on a rebound eight minutes from time after goalkeeper Idriss Carlos Kameni saved from Thulasizwe Mbuyane.

Cameroon had fought back from 2-0 down following Teko Modise's double strike for the hosts in the annual challenge match honouring former South Africa president Nelson Mandela.

Modise drove the ball in from the edge of the area after six minutes before producing a similar effort 17 minutes later following a through pass by Benni McCarthy.

Cameroon pulled a goal back in the 27th when Daniel Ngom Kome curled home a free kick.

Austrian-based striker Somen Tchoyi then grabbed his first international goal with a back-post header from a 34th-minute free kick.

Modise missed a golden chance to claim a hat-trick when his 89th-minute penalty was superbly tipped away by Kameni.

It was South Africa's fourth win in a row following their early elimination from the 2010 African Nations Cup.

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