On Monday, Cameroonian keeper Andre Onana confirmed his return to the Indomitable Lions squad. The Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT) suspended him, leading to his dismissal from the World Cup in Qatar last November.
Since his dispute with Lions manager Rigobert Song, Onana has not played for the national team. However, the squad for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Burundi, which was named last Tuesday, included him on the list.
On Sept. 12, Cameroon will host Burundi, and they need at least a draw to claim a place at the Nations Cup in the Ivory Coast in January.
“I answer the call of my nation with an unshakeable certainty, aware that my return is not only to honour my dream but also to meet the expectation and support of Cameroonians, who deserve a national team determined to shine,” Onana said in the statement posted on the social media site X.
Onana had retired from international play after being suspended for “disciplinary reasons,” after a dispute with Cameroon coach Rigobert Song. But now, he is describing his choice as crucial.
“In the world of football, just like in life, defining moments arise, requiring crucial choices,” he said.
The new signing from Inter Milan, who has made 34 appearances for Cameroon, referenced unspecified problems before confirming his return to Manchester United.
He added that in the world of football, as in life, people face decisive moments that demand making crucial choices.
“In recent months, trials marked by injustice and manipulation have confronted me. Yet I remain unshakably in love with and attached to my homeland, Cameroon.”
“My desire to represent my country since I was a youth has never changed, and this aspiration remains indissociable,” he said.
He added that “in the midst of manipulation and lies, I choose to remain faithful to my identity and to represent with pride my country in my sincere engagement.”
Hundreds of Cameroonians have taken to social media to express their joy after seeing Onana join the lions again.
“I am so happy Onana has chosen to come back. He is such a good goalkeeper and that is all we need now,” Fotso Ngonou said
“At least with Onana in, I know we will win Burundi and qualify for the AFCON. We will be present in Ivory Coast next January,” added Simon Tangoua.
It is not yet certain if Andre Onana’s presence will automatically make the Lions win, but it is already a great encouragement and motivation that he will be in Garoua on September 12.
His response comes a day after his club, Manchester United, lost three goals to Arsenal.
If Onana is included in Cameroon’s squad for the finals, it could mean that he will miss a number of United’s fixtures.
Feh Kim and Washira Helene