The Mirror | Cameroon keeper Andre Onana has broken his silence on being kicked out of the World Cup.
Onana paid the price for a blazing row with coach Rigobert Song and was dropped for the 3-3 draw with Serbia. Now he has insisted he did all he could to make his peace with Song as Cameroon face a make-or-break clash with Brazil on Friday that they must win to have any chance of reaching the last 16.
Onana, the 26-year-old who plays for Italian giants Inter Milan, said: “I put all my efforts and my energy into unravelling the situation, but I did not get the reception I expected. I want to express my affection for my country and the Indomitable Lions.
“I have always behaved appropriately to help lead the team to success. All my encouragement goes to my team-mates, because we have shown that we are capable of going very far in this competition.
“Some moments are difficult to understand. However, I always consider and respect the decisions of the people responsible for the management and supervision of our team.
“The values that I promote as a person and as a professional are those that identify me, and that I have inherited from my family since my early childhood. Representing Cameroon is a huge privilege. The nation is first and forever.”
Onana fell out with coach Rigobert Song over selection for Cameroon’s draw with Serbia
It is understood that Onana clashed with Song over team selection for the 3-3 draw with Serbia that kept Cameroon’s hopes of progressing in the tournament alive.
Tensions had been simmering in the squad after the Africans were beaten 1-0 by Switzerland in their opening game.
Onana, who started his career with Barcelona after coming through the Samuel Eto’o Academy, has won 34 caps for Cameroon since making his international debut in 2016.
He won three Dutch titles during a spell with Ajax and helped his country secure third place at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations. Boss Song claimed that Onana’s exit had inspired his side to fight back for a draw against Serbia.
“Andre has now been left out for disciplinary reasons. I think we needed to make that decision. It was something that had to happen and maybe it was the trigger we needed for this performance,” he said.