Yaoundé—Indomitable Lions striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has declined a call from head coach Hugo Broos to represent the country at the 2017 African Cup of Nations to be staged in neighboring Gabon from January 14 to February 5, but has not retired from the national team, German club side, Schalke 04 has clarified.
|Choupo-Moting has played 41 times for Cameroon|
“The FC Schalke forward has withdrawn from the 2017 Africa Cup but the 27-year-old will still be available for Cameroon in the future,” the club said amidst rumors the deputy captain of the indomitable lions had renounced international soccer career. “Choupo-Moting’s withdrawal from the tournament is not a permanent one from the Indomitable Lions as a whole.”
The attacker will be part of the Schalke squad that will travel to Benidorm for a winter training camp this January.
The Royal Blues maintained the German-born Cameroonian attacker has pulled out of the Gabon soccer tourney ‘for personal reasons’.
Choupo-Moting has represented Cameroon 41 times and scored 11 goals, but football analyst say since Belgian born coach Hugo Broos became head coach of the four times African champions in February last year, he has shown little faith in the attacker.
“The coach snubbed Choupo-Moting in the absence of Stephane Mbia to give the armband to Moukandjo. Choupo was benched for the match away to Algeria (2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers) and he did not take that well with him,” said Francis Ajumane sports analyst and editor at This is Sports newspaper.
According to Mr Ajumane, it all seemed well with the coach’s decision confirming Choupo Moting and Vincent Aboubakar who currently plays for Turkish club side Besiktas on a season-long loan as vice captains of the Indomitable Lions after leaving out Stephane Mbia from his selections.
“But deep within them (Choupo and Aboubakar) they were not happy with the decision. Since a few results were positive at that time they could not create a scene.
“However the draw against Zambia in Limbe last November has opened up the cracks within the team and the coach seems to be under pressure not only for his results but his poor man-management skills,” the sports analyst said.
Choupo is not the only player who has been adamant to Hugo Broos’s call to participate at the Gabon expedition; only 25 players called showed up at the first training session of the Indomitable Lions in Yaounde on Tuesday.
Several top stars including Liverpool central defender Joel Matip and West Bromwich’s Allan Nyom have not also shown up.
Indomitable Lions head coach, Hugo Broos is due to publish the list of 23 selected players for the competition later today. The four times African champions will play two warm-up games; against the Leopards of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Thursday January 5 and with Zimbabwe on January 10 at the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium in Yaounde.
Cameroon will play in Group A of the 2017 African Cup of Nations alongside hosts Gabon, Burkina Faso and Guinea-Bissau.
by Ndi Eugene Ndi