Cameroon has left in-form West Ham United midfielder Alex Song out of their 23-man squad for next month’s African Nations Cup (Afcon) finals in Equatorial Guinea, which was named on Tuesday.
Song had asked the English Premier League club to be released for the tournament despite fears over the Ebola virus, but is not in the plans of coach Volker Finke, who has ignored the 27-year-old since this year’s World Cup in Brazil.
Song was sent off for elbowing Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic in a 4-0 group stage World Cup defeat and handed a three-match ban from competitive internationals by Fifa.
Song’s omission will be a relief for West Ham manager Sam Allardyce, who is expected to lose defensive duo Diafra Sakho and Cheikhou Kouyate for the tournament, with Senegal’s squad scheduled to be announced on Friday.
Finke has retained just eight players from the squad that crashed out of the World Cup at the group stage without earning a point and having scored one goal while conceding nine.
The Afcon team is likely to be captained by Sevilla midfielder Stephane Mbia.
The Indomitable Lions were among the most impressive qualifiers for the January 17 to February 8 finals, thrashing Côte d’Ivoire 4-1 in September, as Finke brought in younger players.
Cameroon have been drawn in Group D at the tournament along with Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and Mali, and open their campaign against the latter on January 20 in Malabo.
Goalkeepers: Pierre Sylvain Abogo (Tonnerre Yaounde), Guy N’dy Assembe (Nancy), Fabrice Ondoa (Barcelona B)
Defenders: Cedric Djeugoue (CotonSport), Nicolas N’Koulou (Marseille), Henri Bedimo (Lyon), Frank Bagnack (Barcelona B), Ambroise Oyongo (New York Red Bulls), Brice N’Late (Marseille)
Midfielders: Eyong Enoh (Standard Liege), Stephane Mbia (Sevilla), Raoul Loe (Osasuna), Edgar Salli (Academica), Georges Mandjeck (Kayseri Erciyesspor), Franck Kom (Étoile du Sahel), Patrick Ekeng (Cordoba)
Forwards: Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Schalke), Benjamin Moukandjo (Reims), Vincent Aboubakar (FC Porto), Leonard Kweuke (Çaykur Rizespor), Clinton N’Jie (Lyon), Franck Etoundi (FC Zurich), Jacques Zoua Daogari (Kayseri Erciyesspor) – Reuters