YAOUNDE:Cameroon football federation (Fecafoot) chiefs on Wednesday expressed their surprise that striker Samuel Eto'o has yet to be released by Barcelona for the African Nations Cup which starts on January 20.
Barcelona coach Franck Rikjaard insisted Tuesday that the Spanish club had reached an agreement with Cameroon to hold on to Eto'o until January 12.
"The club has an agreement with the Cameroon federation which authorises Eto'o to join up later with the team," Rijkaard told Barcelona's website.
Barcelona's agreement delays by about one week the three-time African Player of the Year's trip to join his national team, he said.
Barcelona want Eto'o to play in their King's Cup last 16 away match at Sevilla on January 9 and a Primera Liga tie against Murcia on January 12.
But Fecafoot vice-president Francis Mveng told AFP: "We don't have official news from FC Barcelona.
"Fecafoot asked FC Barcelona by letter to release Eto'o 14 days before the competition starts, or January 6 at the latest, as stipulated by FIFA regulations.
"We have never had a answer. We just heard that FC Barcelona said in a press conference that it was understood that they would release him later," said Mveng, insisting this was not the case.
Mveng evoked the possibility that Barca had struck some deal with "Cameroonian authorities" to hold the player beyond the January 6 deadline.