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Onana leaves Cameroon camp after clash with coach

Goalkeeper Andre Onana has clashed with Cameroon head coach Rigobert Song and will leave the squad in Qatar.

Onana will play no further part in the 2022 FIFA World Cup after being suspended by the country’s football federation.

In a statement released on his Twitter page, Onana explained why he has left the Cameroon camp.

Eyebrows were raised yesterday when Onana was not in the squad to face Serbia. News later filtered out that it was due to disciplinary issues. Devis Epassy deputised in a 3-3 draw.

Song confirmed the situation after the match. Speaking to Marca, the former Indomitable Lions captain said Onana chose to leave.

“The position of the goalkeeper is very important,” he said. “We are in a difficult tournament and I know what I have to do, which is to make sure that the team is above individualities. 

“Onana wanted to leave and we accepted it. There are 26 players in this team working together for this competition. We want to show that spirit of discipline and respect. We are here to show it.

“He is a great goalkeeper, but we focus on the team.

“You have to adapt to the discipline of the team. If you can’t do it, if you can’t adapt to what we ask of this team, I think it’s necessary to step aside and take responsibility.

“The team is more important than individualities. I accept responsibility for the decision.”

Song had reportedly asked the Inter Milan goalkeeper to be more conservative in his play.

Onana recorded 58 touches of the ball in the first group game against Switzerland. A lot of those were also outside the box.

Song asked Onana to play more long balls and stay in his post, but he refused to change his style.

President of Cameroon’s football federation and legendary former striker Samuel Eto’o stepped in to reconcile the pair, but it did not work out.

Onana has returned to the Central African nation’s capital, Yaounde. The former Ajax and Barcelona goalkeeper ironically started his career at Eto’o’s foundation before moving to Europe.

He has won 34 caps for Cameroon and started all of his country’s games this year until his suspension yesterday.

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