Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana has spoken about being dropped from the team during the 2022 Fifa World Cup.
The Inter Milan goalkeeper was left out of Cameroon’s team for their second group game, against Serbia on Monday as Devis Epassy stepped in to start. After the 3-3 draw with Serbia, coach Rigobert Song insisted the shot-stopper has to “respect the rules and maybe come back into the squad”.
The La Masia graduate has now given his side of the story, highlighting there have been differences between him and others in the team.
“I want to express my affection for my country and the national team,” wrote Onana in a statement. “Yesterday [Monday] I was not allowed to be on the ground to help Cameroon, as I always do, to achieve the team’s goals. I always behaved in a way to lead the team to success in a good manner.
“I have put all my efforts and energy into finding solutions to a situation that a footballer often experiences, but there has been no will on the other side. Some moments are difficult to assimilate. However, I always respect and support the decisions of the people in charge of pursuing the success of the national team and country.
“I extend all my strength to my teammates because we demonstrated that we are capable of going very far in this competition. The values that I promote as a person and as a player are the ones that identify me, and that my family has given me since my childhood. Representing Cameroon has always been a privilege. The nation first and forever.”
Previously, discord in the Cameroon camp at World Cups emanated from unpaid appearance fees and match bonuses. Such incidences had been attributed to the team’s struggles at the global quadrennial football tournament. It is yet to be seen if the Onana saga will have an impact in their last game against Brazil on Saturday.
Reports on Tuesday suggested that Onana was set to leave the Cameroon camp in Qatar. According to those reports, he will not be available for their final group game on Friday.