During the FIFA World Cup in 2022, would-be Manchester United goalkeeper André Onana had become the subject of controversy. The 27-year-old left the Cameroon national team training camp over what was described as a difference of opinion about the playing style with coach Rigobert Song.
While the topic is still shrouded in a fair bit of mystery, Henry Njalla Quan, the former manager of the Cameroon national football federation, recently spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport about what truly transpired last year. Njalla Quan revealed that it was Cameroon legend Samuel Eto’o who was the key reason for the controversy around the goalkeeper.
Njalla said: “Onana’s call-up to the national team is subject to Eto’o. When I formally asked him about our goalkeeper’s future in the national team, he replied that the career of the boy [with the NT] was over.”
Njalla revealed that the real crux of the issue was not the reported ‘problem’ involving Onana and Song. It was Eto’o who had caused these problems and Onana, like the others in the national team, were suffocated by Eto’o’s constant involvement.
“The stars of the national team are suffocated by someone who was a star when he was a footballer. He was a star when he was a footballer and he wants to remain a star as a manager. He is present at every meeting, at every training session. Even the coach feels suffocated by Eto’o’s omnipresence.”
Njalla also stated that Eto’o has also threatened his family, saying: “Eto’o gave a million francs to a football manager to control me, and this man started threatening my family. I contacted the public prosecutor, who proceeded to ensure my safety.”
La Gazzetta dello Sport go on to state that Onana could soon be getting closer to rejoining the Cameroon national team at some point in the future.
Kaustubh Pandey | GIFN