Andre Onana was suspended from the Cameroon team by head coach Rigobert Song after the goalie requested to sit out the team’s second World Cup group match amid reports of an altercation between the two in Qatar.
Onana began for the Indomitable Lions in their 1-0 loss to Switzerland in their Group G debut. But Devis Epassy took his position for Monday’s 3-3 draw with Serbia.
FECAFOOT’s official statement
The Cameroon FA has verified Onana’s suspension.
“The Cameroon Football Federation now informs the public that following Mr. Rigobert Song Bahanag’s decision, Head Coach of the Indomitable Lions, the player Andre Onana has been temporarily suspended from the group for disciplinary reasons,” a statement read.
“Cameroon Football Federation reiterates its unwavering support for the Head Coach and his entire staff as they carry out the Federation’s policy designed to uphold order, solidarity, complementarity, and cohesiveness within the national squad.”
“FECAFOOT further reiterates its dedication to fostering a calm environment for the team and giving them the necessary resources for a superb performance.”
? #PRESSRELEASE pic.twitter.com/ThlpG1Lomd
— Fecafoot-Officiel (@FecafootOfficie) November 28, 2022
What are various reports say?
Reports of dissatisfaction with Song’s tactical nous have emerged from the Cameroon camp, with suggestions the coach and goalkeeper have disagreed over Onana’s regular venturing out of his box.
The former Ajax Amsterdam star had more touches (61), some far from his penalty area, than any other goalkeeper at the World Cup against the Swiss, but his progressive approach is seemingly at odds with Song’s.
André Onana has been removed from Cameroon’s squad. Been told that the reason is a discussion with head coach as he insisted for different style of goalkeeping, more ‘traditional’ ?? #Qatar2022
Onana has no intention to change his style — tense situation & so he’s been excluded. pic.twitter.com/UuoFp3WdLz
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 28, 2022
What Cameroon’s coach Song said?
The coach acknowledged that the player was crucial but noted that the tournament was challenging.
“I know what I need to do, and that is to ensure that the team comes first, regardless of who is involved.”
“We agreed to Andre’s request to leave the group. Discipline is crucial in a team.”
Fecafoot, now headed by Samuel Eto’o, gave the coach “its entire support” as he launched a strategy “aimed at retaining discipline, solidarity, complementarity, and coherence with the national squad.”