After being suspended by the Cameroonian football association, goalkeeper Andre Onana has withdrawn from the team and will not be participating in the rest of the World Cup.
According to BBC Sport Africa, a source close to Onana said that the player left the team hotel and headed to the airport on Tuesday, with his first stop being Paris and his final destination being Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon.
“I have put all my efforts and energy into finding solutions to a situation that a footballer often experiences, but there has been no will on the other side,” Onana said in a statement posted on Twitter.
“However, I always respect and support the decisions of the people in charge of pursuing the success of our team and country.”
Fecafoot, the governing body of football in Cameroon, stepped in after Indomitable Lions coach Rigobert Song said that Onana, the team’s established starting goalkeeper, asked not to participate in their second Group G match, amid rumors of a falling out between the two in Qatar.
The 26-year-old goalkeeper was substituted by Devis Epassy during Monday’s 3-3 tie with Serbia, and his name did not appear on the replacements’ roster.
On Monday evening Fecafoot released a statement to say Inter Milan keeper Onana had been “temporarily suspended from the group for disciplinary reasons”.
Before being benched for the match against Serbia, Onana had started all 34 of the Central Africans’ games this year.
Former teammate Samuel Eto’o is now in charge of Fecafoot, and the organization has declared “its entire support” for Song, the 46-year-old coach, as he implements policy “aimed at sustaining discipline, solidarity, complementarity, and cohesiveness with the national team.”
It has been speculated that Onana’s frequent forays outside of his penalty area have caused friction between the keeper and his coach.
In Thursday’s 1-0 loss to Switzerland, 26 of his 61 touches occurred outside the Swiss penalty area.