Former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor has criticized Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana, accusing him of showing a lack of respect towards his country.
Adebayor expressed his disapproval, suggesting that Onana’s actions have “alienated” him from his international teammates and supporters across Africa during the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
The condemnation from Adebayor comes in response to Onana’s delayed arrival for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations tournamenmt, which resulted in him watching Cameroon’s 1-1 draw against Guinea from the sidelines.
Onana had left Manchester aboard a private jet immediately after Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham for the Ivory Coast.
His journey to the Ivory Coast was, however, disrupted by inclement weather that meant he had to land in the capital Abidjan rather than Yamoussoukro, where the match is being played, more than 200km away.
Adebayor, drawing from his own experiences as a player, emphasized the importance of respecting the national team and suggested that such behavior indicates underlying issues, potentially within the federation.
“He [Andre Onana] did not respect Cameroon. I was a player like him, and even being the most important player in my selection, I never acted in this way [arriving on the day of the match],” Adebayor remarked.
He further highlighted the potential consequences of Onana’s actions, stating that the goalkeeper risks losing the support of Cameroonian and African fans, as well as certain members of the team.
Adebayor added “The fact that this situation is happening shows that there is a problem, perhaps even within the federation.
“He risks losing big, because he has alienated the Cameroonian supporters, as well as many African supporters and undoubtedly certain members of the team.”
Onana’s late arrival has stirred controversy, and Adebayor’s criticism adds to the ongoing discussion surrounding player commitment and the perceived impact on team dynamics during AFCON.
The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon will continue their AFCON campaign when they face Senegal on Friday, January 19, 2024 by 6pm.