Former Tottenham and Cameroon defender Sebastien Bassong has been left unimpressed with both Manchester United and Andre Onana over the handling of his delayed call up to the African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Speaking to the BBC, he claimed that the goalkeeper and United had disrespected the African team.
The defender, who himself represented the Indomitable Lions 15 times, did not mince his words on the issue.
“It’s out of order from both sides. It’s disrespectful from Manchester United to request Onana to do such a thing and it’s really low from Onana to even consider it.”
The former defender is of course referring to the ongoing drama over Onana and his decision to play at the AFCON.
The United goalkeeper retired from international football due to a disagreement with the coach during the 2022 World Cup.
However, he was recalled to the national side shortly after his move to United and he was eventually called up to defend his nations’ colours in this month’s tournament.
His manager, Erik ten Hag, seems to be reluctant to part with the keeper as he kept him in goal for the FA Cup game against third-tier Wigan and has also successfully delayed the keeper’s participation in the tournament, so he can play versus Tottenham in a crucial top four tie on Sunday.
Bassong was particularly unhappy with Onana and the image it portrays of African football.
“It sends such a bad message for not only Cameroon, but for the respect that people will have for Afcon and the way they should treat us. If we can’t even respect ourselves, how can we expect other people to treat us any different? For me, Andre Onana is shooting us and himself in the foot.”
The 37 year old claimed to be so “disappointed” in Onana and believes that you cannot just play a game and then fly out to the continent right after, ready to play the next day.
Furthermore, Bassong stated that he personally likes the United keeper but his actions cannot be tolerated.
“For me, you’ve got to teach him a lesson. I like Andre, I always have his back but when things like this happen, the pride of the country and the continent is way above an individual person. For me he should stay home and get punished for that.”
It will be interesting to see how other Cameroonian fans react to Onana’s decision, especially if he takes his erratic club form to the international stage.