Andre Onana 'could be banned from playing for Man Utd' by FIFA rule if he snubs AFCON
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Andre Onana could be prohibited from playing for Manchester United if he decides to snub a call-up to play at the Africa Cup of Nations, according to reports.
The 27-year-old goalkeeper, who has made 20 appearances for United since his £47.2 million move from Ajax in the summer, is expected to feature for Cameroon at AFCON.
After coming out of international retirement in September, Onana has played for his country in games against Senegal and Mauritius.
But according to a report from The Sun, he is 'considering staying at home for the tournament' to focus on his career at United, where he has made a number of high profile errors of late.
In fact, Onana is said to be 'concerned' about potentially losing his place as United's number one if he participates in AFCON, says the Manchester Evening News, as Altay Bayindir waits in the wings.
If Onana refuses to join up with the Cameroon squad, then the goalkeeper could be banned from playing for the Premier League club by FIFA.
According to FIFA regulations, a player called up by their country is not entitled to play for their club during the period for which they should have been released.
FIFA say: "A player who has been called up by his association for one of its representative teams is, unless otherwise agreed by the relevant association, not entitled to play for the club with which he is registered during the period for which he has been released or should have been released pursuant to the provisions of this annex, plus an additional period of five days.”
As a result of that rule, and the uncertainty it created, Liverpool defender Joel Matip was left out of games against Manchester United and Plymouth when he turned down the chance to play for Cameroon at AFCON.
FIFA eventually cleared Matip to play for Jurgen Klopp's side and he appeared as a late substitute in their 3-2 defeat to Swansea on January 21, 2017.
If he does decide to play at next year's tournament, then Onana could miss six United games, including four Premier League fixtures against Spurs, Wolves, West Ham and Aston Villa.
He could also miss United's FA Cup third round clash tie that's set to take place on the weekend of January 6-7 should he receive an early call-up to feature in Cameroon's pre-tournament camp.
And if United progress out of their Champions League group, they would play the first leg of a last-16 clash just 48 hours after the AFCON final.
The Africa Cup of Nations will begin on January 13th and end on February 11th.