Onana replies to critics: 'My country comes first'



Goalkeeper André Onana is likely to be included in Cameroon's lineup for Friday's Africa Cup of Nations group game against holders Senegal after returning to training with the team on Wednesday.

Onana missed Cameroon's opening match of the tournament in the Ivory Coast on Monday after he was allowed to stay at Manchester United and play in their 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

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He flew by charter plane overnight to the Ivory Coast after the clash at Old Trafford but only arrived hours before kick off of the Group C clash against Guinea, in which Cameroon came from behind to force a 1-1 draw.

The decision to allow the 27-year-old to forgo the opening match of the tournament caused controversy among Cameroon supporters.

André Onana is the latest player to be been caught in a battle between club and country. ichael Regan/Getty Images

In an interview after his arrival in the Ivory Coast, Onana told reporters of the difficult tug of loyalty between club and country, especially for African internationals forced to leave their European clubs mid-season to compete at the Cup of Nations.

"It's like choosing between my father and my mother, but my country comes first, that's why I'm here," he said

"Let people continue to criticise me. I'm used to it. I do what is good for my country," Onana added.

Onana has a chequered history with Cameroon after breaking through into the team while still a teenager at Ajax Amsterdam.

He turned down a call-up to the 2017 Cup of Nations finals, which Cameroon went onto win, and at the last World Cup in Qatar was sent home after one match following a row with coach Rigobert Song, which has since been patched up.

But he did compete at the last edition of the Cup of Nations two years ago, just months after returning from a lengthy doping ban.


Keywords: AFCON Ivory Coast Africa Cup of Nations

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