Qatar 2022: Andre Onana suspended from Cameroon squad

THE Cameroon Football Federation have ‘temporarily suspended’ Andre Onana following disciplinary issues.

The federation released a statement on Monday to confirm the punishment and express its ‘full support to the Head Coach’ and desire to ‘create a peaceful atmosphere’ within the national team.

Consequently, the 26-year-old Inter Milan goalkeeper was not in the squad for his team’s 3-3 draw against Serbia, with Devis Epassy playing in his stead. In his post-match conference, head coach Rigobert Song said, “In a group, you need to respect the rules that apply to everybody, and I prefer to ensure that the team takes precedence over individuals.”

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“If you can’t fit in with what’s required to be part of a squad, then I do think that you need to step up to the plate and accept responsibility for that.”

On Tuesday, after the game, Onana released a statement expressing his “affection for [his] country and the national team” and ambition to succeed.

The goalkeeper notes that, despite putting “all [his] efforts and energy into finding solutions to [the] situation,” there has been “no will from the other side.”

“I have always behaved well and in a way to lead the team to success in a good manner,” he added.



    Reason for the dispute

    According to football journalist Fabrizio Romano, Song asked Onana to employ a more ‘traditional style’ during games, taking fewer risks on the ball. Sports news outlet The Athletic also corroborated that the disagreement had to do with tactics.

    Across his career, the goalkeeper has earned a reputation for his assertiveness and poise on the ball. In Cameroon’s first game of the tournament, Onana registered 61 touches of the ball, with a third of them coming outside his goal area.

    Onana’s touch map against Switzerland (from Opta)

    Onana has 34 international caps for the national team and played a crucial part in their qualification.

    As it stands, Onana will not be part of Cameroon’s last group game against Brazil on Friday. The Indomitable Lions currently sit third in Group G with a single point and need a win to be in promotion contention.

    Joel currently monitors and writes stories affecting the local political and sports atmosphere. In his spare time, he strives to accentuate data privacy legislation on the continent.

    Additionally, Joel regularly curates tactical analyses on football–check his Twitter page (@crunchpick) for more.

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