AFCON 2023: Rigobert Song opens up on omission of Andre Onana after Guinea frustrated Cameroon

Andre Onana was recalled to Cameroon squad after walking out on team at the World Cup
The Indomitable Lions started their Africa Cup of Nations campaign by dropping two points against opponents who had a man short in the second half.

Cameroon were their biggest enemy when they failed to capitalise on some numerical advantage to draw 1-1 with Guinea in their Group C opener.

The Manchester United goalkeeper opted to stay and play with the Red Devils against Tottenham at the weekend instead of joining Rigobert Song’s team as was the case with other members of the squad ahead of their opening game against Guinea. And then there was the anxiety caused by news of the issues his chartered plane had with Ivoirian authorities, which kept everybody, including Cameroon team officials, scampering for a positive resolution of matters.

After that, Onana got angry with Cameroonian officials when he realised that he would not be used in the game against Guinea. He had to be restrained by Senegal legend, El Hadji Diouf, when he became agitated with Song for keeping him out of the team. He was supposedly heard shouting: “If I wasn’t going to play or make the team, then why did I come here on a private jet?”

According to reports, poor weather conditions meant he was unable to land in Yamoussoukro – where Cameroon were playing on Monday – and had to divert to Abidjan.

Onana was then forced to drive the final 150 miles and eventually arrived three hours before kickoff and knew that he wouldn’t be starting the game but was shocked to see that Devis Epassy and Simon Ngapandouetnbu had been named ahead of him on the bench.

Song has had a fractured relationship with Onana in the past and the 27-year-old only returned to the international scene towards the end of last year after he retired in response to being sent home from the World Cup early.

Song meanwhile played down the significance of Onana’s absence, saying: “‘It’s logical, he arrived at 4 o’clock in the morning. How do you want him to play?”Their opening game saw them held to a 1-1 draw against Guinea.