Former Premier League star Sebastien Bassong feels Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana should be ‘punished’ for disrespecting Cameroon.
Onana is set to miss Cameroon’s opening match at the African Cup of Nations and the 27-year-old could reportedly skip the entire tournament.
United’s No.1 goalkeeper was named in Rigobert Song’s squad for AFCON – which gets underway on Saturday – and he was set to miss up to six games for the Red Devils before the club reached an agreement with Cameroon that he wouldn’t depart until Sunday.
That allowed Onana to feature in United’s 2-0 FA Cup win over Wigan Athletic and means he can also play in the upcoming clash against Tottenham this weekend.
Onana felt it was possible to start in goal for Cameroon’s first AFCON group clash against Guinea on Monday – but it is now thought he will not arrive in sufficient time for the match and could now be forced to miss out – and it remains a possibility that he may not play a single game at the tournament.
Bassong, who earned 15 caps for Cameroon between 2009 and 2015, has slammed Onana over his treatment of the national team.
‘It’s out of order from both sides,’ Bassong told the BBC. ‘It’s disrespectful from Manchester United to request Onana to do such a thing and it’s really low from Onana to even consider it.
‘It sends such a bad message for not only Cameroon, but for the respect that people will have for AFCON and the way they should treat us.
‘If we can’t even respect ourselves, how can we expect other people to treat us any different? For me, Andre Onana is shooting us and himself in the foot.
‘If I was in the squad I wouldn’t be having any of that. You can’t play a game the day before and think you can just fly out to the continent and play another game.
‘Just the thought of it drives me crazy, I’m so disappointed.
‘For me, you’ve got to teach him a lesson. I like Andre, I always have his back but when things like this happen, the pride of the country and the continent is way above an individual person.
‘For me he should stay home and get punished for that.’