Eto'o dropped from Cameroon squad for Nations Cup qualifiers

_77135189_etocameroonCameroon have made a major overhaul to their squad, dropping 13 players from the party who went to the World Cup including captain Samuel Eto’o.

German-born Volker Finke, who has been maintained as Cameroon’s national coach despite a poor showing in Brazil, announced a new-look 25-man squad on Saturday for their forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Cameroon are away to the Democratic Republic of Congo on 6 September, and then at home against Ivory Coast four days later.

Eto’o has been without a club since being released by Chelsea at the end of last season and his absence was not unexpected as he has not played since his one appearance at the World Cup finals against Mexico in Natal.

The 33-year-old striker, who led the controversial strike over wages that delayed Cameroon’s trip to Brazil in June, had previously said he would like to add to his 115 caps.

Finke told BBC Sport he has to look towards the future, especially after the debacle in Brazil.

“I think after this World Cup, there was no choice. We have to change. That means we also have to change the spirit of the team, we have to change the mentality of the players.”

Midfielder Alex Song is out suspended after elbowing Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic in the back during the World Cup while defender Henri Bedimo was injured in Europa League action for Olympique Lyon earlier this month.

Also left out was Benoit Assou Ekotto, who tried to hit team mate Benjamin Moukandjo during the 4-0 defeat to Croatia in Manaus.

Finke said he was looking for young players with potential and is keen to give local players, from the Cameroonian championship, a chance to prove their worth.

“This is the moment, now we have to make a break because there are 16 or 17 players who just played at a World Cup for a second time, having played in 2010 and now 2014.

“Both times, they were performances we could not accept. They were not good performances. This is why, this is the moment that it has to change.”

Benjamin Moukandjo, who recently moved to Stade Reims in Ligue 1, is one of 10 players retained from the disappointing 2014 World Cup trip.

Volker has also named eight uncapped players.

Goalkeepers: Pierre Sylvain Abogo (Tonnerre Yaounde), Guy Roland Ndy Assembe (Nancy), Joseph Ondoua (Barcelona)

Defenders: Frank Bagnack (Barcelona), Gaetan Bong (Olympiakos), Cedric Djeugoue (Coton Sport), Jerome Guiahota (Valenciennes), Joel Matip (Schalke 04), Nicolas Nkoulou (Olympique de Marseille), Ambroise Oyongo (New York Red Bulls)

Midfielders: Enoh Eyong (Antalyaspor), Marc Kibong Mbamba (Konyaspor), Raoul Cedric Loe (Osasuna), Georges Mandjeck (Kayseri Erciyesspor), Stephane Mbia (Queens Park Rangers), Benjamin Moukandjo (Stade Reims), Landry Nguemo (Girondins Bordeaux), Edgar Salli (Monaco), Guy Christian Zock (Cosmos Bafia)

Forwards: Vincent Aboubakar (Lorient), Eric-Maxim Choupo Moting (Schalke 04), Jean Marie Dongou (Barcelona), Frank Etoundi (FC Zurich), Leonard Kwueke (Rizespor), Clinton Njie (Olympique Lyonnaise)

*Source BBC

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