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The full story of why Andre Onana was kicked out of Cameroon squad only an hour before Serbia match

Adnan Riaz

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The full story of why Andre Onana was kicked out of Cameroon squad only an hour before Serbia match

Cameroon manager Rigobert Song has opened up on why Inter Milan star Andre Onana was ejected from his side’s squad only an hour before their World Cup match against Serbia.

Jean-Charles Castelletto fired Cameroon into the lead before Strahinja Pavlovic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored in first-half injury time to put Serbia 2-1 up ahead of the break.

However, Serbia continued to build momentum early into the second half as Aleksandar Mitrovic scored eight minutes after play had resumed.

Song’s men fought back as Vincent Aboubakar pulled Cameroon back into the contest before Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored the all-important equaliser for his side.

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Ahead of Cameroon and Serbia’s thrilling 3-3 draw on Monday, Song’s shock decision to axe Onana for the Group G clash was shrouded in controversy.

Onana, who started in Cameroon’s 1-0 defeat to Switzerland in their World Cup opener, was replaced by Devis Epassy between the sticks for the Serbia match.

According to reports at the time, the 26-year-old Cameroon international was removed from the squad due to “disciplinary reasons.”

It was believed that Onana ‘refused’ to alter his playing style for Song, which led to the Cameroon boss opting for Epassy ahead of the Inter ‘keeper.

Cameroon manager Rigobert Song made the shock decision to drop Andre Onana for the World Cup match against Serbia. Credit: Alamy
Cameroon manager Rigobert Song made the shock decision to drop Andre Onana for the World Cup match against Serbia. Credit: Alamy

Now, Song has insisted that he is fully “responsible” for the decision made and confirmed Onana was dropped from the starting XI due to disciplinary reasons.

“I'm responsible and if any decisions have to be taken, I’m fully prepared to do that,” he said.

“What I’m interested in are the players who I do have at my disposal. And in just a few days' time, we have a very big match.

“The issue is that Andre has now been left out for disciplinary reasons. In a group, you need to expect the rules [to] apply to everybody. And I prefer to ensure that the teams takes precedent over individuals.

“I think [I] needed to make that decision and it was something that had to happen.

“Everyone who did get picked was capable and those who didn’t want to be part of that, then that can be judged.”

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When asked about the Onana situation after the match, Song told Marca that he had asked the former Ajax star to leave himself.

“You have to adapt to the discipline of the team,” he explained.

“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 individuals.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Cameroon, Serbia, Football World Cup, Football

Adnan Riaz
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