YAOUNDE, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Cameroon have excluded longtime centre-back Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui from their World Cup squad in a shocking omission as coach Rigobert Song on Wednesday named his 26-man squad for Qatar.
The coach also surprisingly included two local players – Souaibou Marou and Jérôme Ngom – who had won their first caps hours before in a friendly against Jamaica.
The team will be led by Vincent Aboubakar, who played as a teenager at the 2010 World Cup and again in Brazil in 2014 when the Indomitable Lions last appeared in the final.
It will also be a third World Cup for defender Nicolas Nkoulou, 32, and Bayern Munich striker Eric-Maxime Choupo Moting, 33.
Nkoulou returned to the team in September after a five-year absence, having retired after winning the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
Ngadeu was also a member of that team but had remained a Cameroon regular ever since. He was omitted for the final round of friendlies two months ago and was out again for the trip to Qatar.
Song gave no explanation for the dismissal of the 31-year-old Belgium centre-back at a hastily organized press conference on Wednesday, where reporters were briefed at short notice on the intention to appoint the crew.
Song also included teenage goalkeeper Simon Ngapandouetnbu, who is on Olympique de Marseille’s books but has yet to play a senior game. He is the only uncapped player on the team.
Cameroon will make their eighth World Cup appearance – a record number of appearances for an African nation – and face Switzerland, Serbia and Brazil in Group G, with their first match on November 24.
Goalkeepers: Devis Epassy (Abha Club), Simon Ngapandouetnbu (Olympique de Marseille), Andre Onana (Inter Milan)
Defenders: Jean-Charles Castelletto (Nantes), Enzo Ebosse (Udinese), Collins Fai (Al Tai), Olivier Mbaizo (Philadelphia Union), Nicolas Nkoulou (Aris Salonique), Tolo Nouhou (Seattle Sounders), Christopher Wooh (Stade Rennes)
Midfielders: Martin Hongla (Verona), Pierre Kunde (Olympiakos), Olivier Ntcham (Swansea City), Gael Ondoua (Hanover 96), Samuel Oum Gouet (Mechelen), André-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Napoli)
Attackers: Vincent Aboubakar (Al Nassr), Christian Bassogog (Shanghai Shenhua), Eric-Maxime Choupo Moting (Bayern Munich), Souaibou Marou (Coton Sport), Bryan Mbeumo (Brentford), Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu (Young Boys Bern), Jérôme Ngom (Colombe Dja), Georges-Kevin Nkoudou (Besiktas), Jean-Pierre Nsame (Young Boys Berne), Karl Toko Ekambi (Olympique Lyonnais)
Written by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Toby Davis
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