Man Utd brokered an agreement with Cameroon that allowed Onana to jet out to hook up with the squad following Sunday’s Premier League encounter with Tottenham.
The decision has backfired on the goalkeeper to some extent as he could miss the opening match of the competition, with reports breaking that his flight to Yamoussoukro has been blocked due to inclement meteorological conditions.
For Cameroon, this is not the blow that it might appear, with head coach Rigobert Song having already indicated that he would have started Fabrice Ondoa, who plays in France’s third tier with Nimes, for this encounter in any case.
“We gave him authorisation because he is one of our best goalkeepers and he remains competitive,” Song stated on Sunday.
Certainly, with Onana, whose summer transfer continues to provoke controversy, having previously quit the international scene before making a U-turn on his decision to play in this competition, it is in Cameroon’s interests to keep the Manchester United goalkeeper happy.
The 27-year-old, who has played 37 times for his country, flew out to Ivory Coast on a private jet on Sunday evening and arrived in Africa in the morning, yet his hopes of reaching Yamoussoukro have been frustrated.
Onana is yet to link up with Cameroon 🇨🇲 as his flight is currently blocked in Abidjan due to bad weather conditions at Yamoussoukro airport. Cameroon takes on Guinea 🇬🇳 in 7 hours time.
— Eric Njiru (@EricNjiiru) January 15, 2024
Aboubakar worry for Cameroon
Cameroon boss Song has greater worries on his plate than Onana’s flight arriving late for the opening fixture as captain and leading striker Vincent Aboubakar has suffered a thigh injury that threatens his effectiveness in the competition.
“It is a minor injury not affecting the player’s participation in the competition. As a result, he continues his preparation under the supervision of the medical team, indicating a return very soon to the group,” the Cameroon Football Federation said in a statement.
“The captain of the Indomitable Lions, also the most experienced player in the squad, maintains high spirits and a determined mindset. He is ready to rigorously follow treatment protocols to participate.”
Cameroon are back in action on Friday, when they meet Senegal before their final group match against Gambia on 23 January.