Johannesburg: Cameroon banned reigning African Footballer of the Year Samuel Eto'o for 15 matches Friday after a players' strike forced a friendly fixture in Algeria last month to be cancelled.
The surprisingly harsh punishment was meted out by the Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT) disciplinary committee and reported on the website of the governing body.
National team striker and captain Eto'o has been voted African Footballer of the Year a record four times and has represented the Cameroonian 'Indomitable Lions' for more than a decade.
But the Russia-based striker has frequently disagreed with officials -- especially on money issues -- and took the brunt of the blame when a strike prevented the Algeria match going ahead.
Cameroon had beaten Sudan and drawn with hosts Morocco in a four-nation Marrakech tournament and were due to wrap up a hectic friendlies schedule against Algeria.
Eto'o and his team-mates claimed they were not paid money due to them by FECAFOOT and the fixture had to be canned with Algeria claiming one million dollars compensation for lost revenue.
Eto'o has two weeks to appeal the ban which would rule him out of a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations tie in Guinea Bissau on February 29 and 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Democratic Republic of Congo and Libya.