Club over country? Mixed reactions as Onana opts to miss Cameroon’s Afcon opener to play for Manchester United

Goalkeeper Andre Onana’s decision to prioritize Manchester United over Cameroon’s opening game of the Africa Cup of Nations has been met with mixed reactions.

While it is a blow for the national team, United fans are thrilled to have him available for their Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur.

United and the Cameroon Football Federation have been in discussions about Onana’s travel plans, as he had already delayed his arrival once to play in the FA Cup third-round win over Wigan Athletic.

However, it has been confirmed that he will miss Cameroon’s Group C clash with Guinea.

Onana’s absence for the opening game is disappointing for Cameroon, but they are hopeful that he will join the team for their subsequent matches against Senegal and Gambia.

Coach Rigobert Song expressed his understanding of Onana’s decision, saying, “We respect Andre’s commitment to his club and understand that he wants to play in such an important Premier League game.”

This is not the first time Onana has had a turbulent relationship with the national team.

He previously walked out on Cameroon after a disagreement with Song at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. However, after reconciliation talks, he returned to the team.

Onana’s retirement from international football upon joining United in July was seen as a blow to Cameroon, but his presence in the team for the Africa Cup of Nations was seen as a positive step towards reconciliation.

United, on the other hand, will miss Onana’s presence in goal during his potential absence for up to four weeks.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expressed his disappointment, saying, “Andre has been a key player for us this season, and we will miss his contributions during his time away with Cameroon. However, we understand his commitment to his national team and wish him the best in the tournament.”

As the Africa Cup of Nations kicks off, all eyes will be on Onana and his performances for both United and Cameroon.

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