Could Choupo-Moting face axe from Cameroon AFCON squad?

Bayern Munich forward Eric Choupo-Moting faces the prospect of being dropped from Cameroon’s final squad for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Indomitable Lions boss Rigobert Song will announce his final squad on Thursday, December 28, 2023, but the 34-year-old could be left out of the list that will be representing the country in the Ivory Coast.

Reports in the local media in Cameroon, corroborated by a report by Cfoot, suggest Choupo-Moting is currently not on good terms with the coaching staff of the national team.

Choupo-Moting’s chequered history with Cameroon coaching staff

The former Paris Saint-Germain forward is said to have been involved in a series of incidents in camp, which have damaged his relationship with the technical team.

Cfoot reports that Choupo-Moting’s habit of skipping international matches has not gone down well with Song and the other members of the coaching staff.

The player failed to honour a call-up for Cameroon’s high-profile international friendlies against Russia and Senegal in October, with the Lions going on to lose both games.

As a consequence, Choupo-Moting was excluded from the country’s squad for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers in November against Mauritius and Libya.

Song’s side, however, kicked on in the World Cup qualifiers without the Bayern star by beating Mauritius 3-0 at home before drawing 1-1 with Libya on the road.

Controversy clouds Cameroon heading into another tournament

Cameroon are not new to controversy ahead of a major tournament, with the happenings at the Qatar 2022 World Cup still fresh in the minds of fans.

Choupo Moting
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Goalkeeper Andre Onana was sent home from Qatar over disciplinary issues after a reported dispute with Song, while Michael Ngadeu was dropped entirely from the tournament.

Song himself got the coaching job under controversial circumstances after Cameroonian President Paul Biya personally ordered the football association to give the job to the former centre-back.

Choupo-Moting’s potential axe from the AFCON squad could create another contention despite the veteran striker’s lack of form this season. In 14 games, he has only scored three times and has had very limited game time due to Harry Kane’s arrival.

However, he remains one of Cameroon’s most experienced players with 20 goals from 73 caps. Reports suggest although the technical team is considering dropping Choupo-Moting, talks are still ongoing with the FA over a potential U-turn.

It, therefore, remains to be seen how things will pan out when Song officially announces his AFCON squad on Thursday.

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Emmanuel Ayamga

Emmanuel Ayamga is an African sports writer, with bylines on DW, Al Jazeera, World Soccer Magazine and These Football Times.