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Cameroon’s Andre Onana dropped to bench for AFCON match against The Gambia

Andre Onana has been dropped to the bench for Cameroon’s crucial Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) group-stage fixture against The Gambia.

Onana missed his nation’s opening AFCON game against Guinea on January 15 after arriving late to the tournament, having played for Manchester United against Tottenham Hotspur the day before.

The goalkeeper did then start Cameroon’s second match — a 3-1 defeat to Group C leaders Senegal.

Fabrica Ondoa — who deputised for Onana in the 1-1 draw against Guinea — will make his second start in the tournament against The Gambia.

Cameroon are third in their group and require a victory against The Gambia at the Stade Bouake, as well as needing Senegal to defeat second-placed Guiena, to have a chance at automatic qualification to the round of 16.

This, though, is not the first time Onana has had difficulties with Cameroon at a major international tournament.

At the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Cameroon head coach Rigobert Song omitted the 27-year-old from the matchday squad for the 3-3 draw with Serbia because of “disciplinary reasons”.Onana then retired from international duty last year following a disagreement with Samuel Eto’o, the president of the Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot), at the World Cup.

He was called up to the squad for the AFCON back in December and was made available for the duration of the tournament. However, Onana played 90 minutes for his United against Tottenham in the Premier League on January 14 before flying to the Ivory Coast later that day.

His arrival was delayed after weather conditions forced him to change travel plans and fly into Abidjan rather than Yamoussoukro, and he subsequently was not involved against Guinea.

(Photo: MB Media/Getty Images)

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