Cameroon coach says Onana's absence from Guinea game is logical

AP , Tuesday 16 Jan 2024

After a grueling effort to reach the Africa Cup of Nations on time, Manchester United goalkeeper André Onana failed to make the Cameroon squad for the five-time champions’ opening game.

Andr  Onana
File Photo: Cameroonian goalkeeper Andr Onana and South Korean player Kim Jin-su during the friendly match between South Korea and Cameroon at the Seoul World Cup Stadium. AP

Onana was omitted from coach Rigobert Song’s squad for the 1-1 draw against Guinea on Monday, despite the player’s rush from England to reach the Charles Konan Banny Stadium in Yamoussoukro on time.

“It’s logical. He arrived at 4 o’clock in the morning. How do you want him to play?” Song said after the game. The coach added: “He’s part of the group.”

Onana had played for United on Sunday, in a 2-2 draw with visiting Tottenham in the Premier League, then flew to Abidjan in Ivory Coast. From there the player had reported difficulties getting another flight to Yamoussoukro, forcing him to make the journey by road instead.

Such a trip would normally take 2½ hours, but heavy traffic in Abidjan and traffic restrictions imposed by police for Africa Cup security measures mean most journeys during the tournament face delays.

Onana quit the national team after he was sent home from the 2022 World Cup following a dispute with Song, but returned after apparently winning back the coach’s favor.

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