The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon are in total disarray ahead of next year’s AFCON in Gabon after as many as seven players on their 35-man provisional squad including Premier League stars Joel Matip and Allan Nyom opted out.
Cameroon coach Hugo Bros raised alarm over the availability of the country’s top stars for the African Cup of Nations billed for Gabon next month.
Liverpool defender Matip, Nyom from West Bromwich Albion, Ajax Amsterdam goalkeeper Andre Onana, Guy Roland Ndy Assembe of Nancy and Andre Zambo Anguissa from Olympique Marseille have withdrawn from the four-time African champions squad to Gabon 2017.
Others who have opted out are Maxime Poundje of Bordeaux and Ibrahim Amadou from Lille.
Matip has insisted on continuing his self-imposed exile from international football after his bad experience with the previous Indomitable Lions coaches, while Onana, Assembe, Nyom have put club before country so as to maintain first-team places at their various clubs.
Poundje has opted to try his luck with France instead of Cameroon.
However, Cameroon could still get these top stars to feature at the AFCON should they report them to world football governing body FIFA.
For the 2017 AFCON, Cameroon are drawn in Group A alongside hosts Gabon, Burkina Faso and debutants Guinea Bissau.
They are also pitched against Nigeria, Zambia and Algeria in the qualifying tournament for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The Indomitable Lions are second in the group with two points from as many matches, four points behind leaders Nigeria and both teams clash in a double-header from August 2017.