- Song didn’t consider Cameroon based players for their first two FIFA World Cup qualifiers games against Mauritius Island and Libya
- Song has however promised to include home-based players in subsequent selections
Rigobert Song has put down the non-inclusion of local players to the embryonic stage of the national championship amongst others.
The gaffer made the revelation this Tuesday after journalists questioned him about the complete absence of MTN Elite One and Two players from the squad of 23 players released ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier games against Mauritius Island and Libya later this month.
Song who hasn’t considered home-based players in the past two call ups earned huge plaudits late last year when he took then home-based Jerome Ngom Mbeleki and Marou Souaibou of Colombe of Dja and Cotonsport of Garoua to the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The praises were even louder when Ngom provided the assist for Vincent Aboubakar’s winner against Brazil in the final group game.
The gaffer followed that up with call ups and game time to Etta Bawak and Emmanuel Mahop for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier matches against Namibia, unfortunately things have completed changed in the past six months – with Song not considering those plying their trade back at home.
Quizzed about the situation during the press conference on Tuesday in Odza Song re-emphasized he is paying attention to the locals.
“We are six rounds of matches into the new season. Let’s give them time to have more game time under their belt. There’s a chance for locals in all positions. They should just keep working and gaining maturity,” Song said at the presser.
Song’s statement is a welcomed development for the locals dreaming of pushing for a place in the Côte D’Ivoire 2023 plane expected take off in January next year.
Song’s latest assembly is all based abroad, with a majority plying their trade in Europe and highlights the modern day pattern of selection of players for most of the top dogs on the continent.
Cameroon will begin their quest to an eighth FIFA World Cup appearance on November 13 when they welcome Mauritius Island in Douala before heading up North Africa to confront the Mediterranean Knights of Libya in the second of ten FIFA World Cup qualifiers games scheduled for Eswatini, Mauritius Island, Cape Verde Island, Angola, Libya as well Cameroon in a tricky Pool D.
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