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Little-known rule means Andre Onana would have been banned from playing for Man Utd even if he snubbed Afcon call-up


ANDRE ONANA has agreed to go to the Africa Cup of Nations after fearing he would be accused of letting his country down.

The Manchester United goalkeeper was called into Cameroon’s squad for the tournament which runs for just over a month from January 13.

Andre Onana is set to head to Afcon next month

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Andre Onana is set to head to Afcon next monthCredit: Reuters

Onana had been torn about going because he could miss six Red Devils games at a time when his indifferent form was leading to questions about his long-term future.

But Fifa rules meant he had to go if the call came or be banned from playing for United for the duration of the tournament. That call came yesterday.

United chiefs have been in negotiations with the Cameroon FA for months in the hope they would opt to NOT call him up.

But following discussions with family and friends, Onana realised he simply could not turn  his back on Cameroon.

Onana retired from international football after being kicked out of their World Cup camp in 2022 following a bust-up with coach Rigobert Song.

He reversed that decision in September and returned for the win over Burundi which saw his side into the Afcon finals.

Onana, 27, is concerned that a prolonged absence from United’s first team could cost him his place long term if No 2 Altay Bayindir performs well.

His spot has already come under question after a number of high-profile blunders in conceding 43 goals in 27 appearances.

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On-loan  Sofyan Amrabat will also be missing from the United squad during the tournament having been called up by Morocco.

However, United boss Erik ten Hag has been boosted by a number of players coming back from injury.

Influential Lisandro Martinez is putting a metatarsal problem behind him.

The centre-back said: “My rehab is going amazingly. I am feeling strong.”

Mason Mount is due to return to full training after a calf problem, while Casemiro (hamstring) is also close.

Defenders Harry Maguire  and Victor Lindelof should be available next month.

Sofyan Amrabat is also set to head to Afcon

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Sofyan Amrabat is also set to head to AfconCredit: Alamy





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