YAOUNDE Cameroon have axed experienced defenders Henri Bedimo and Aurelien Chedjou from their final, 23-man list for the African Nations Cup finals, adding to eight players who had already said they did not want to take part and leaving an inexperienced selection for the tournament in Gabon.
Bedimo, 32, was not expected to recover in time from injuries that have kept out of action for Olympique Marseille over the last two months while a similar lack of playing time at Galatasaray for 31-year-old Chedjou also cost him a place, officials said on Thursday.
Cameroon had already been rocked by the decision of eight players not to go to the tournament, including striker Eric Maxim Choupo Moting of Schalke 04, Liverpool defender Joel Matip and fullback Allan Nyom of Watford.
“Making such decisions was a very difficult thing for me,” coach Hugo Broos told reporters. “When will we know whether the best ones have been selected? In four weeks’ time.”
Cameroon, who are four-time winners of the Nations Cup, play in Group A at the Nations Cup and meet Burkina Faso in their opening game in Libreville on Jan. 14. They also play the hosts and Guinea Bissau in the group phase.
Goalkeepers: Jules Goda (Ajaccio), Georges Mbokwe (Coton Sport), Fabrice Ondoa (Sevilla)
Defenders: Fai Collins (Standard Liege), Mohamed Djeitei (Gimnastic Tarragona), Ernest Mabouka (MSK Zilina), Michael Ngadeu Ngadjui (Slavia Prague), Jonathan Ngwem (Progresso Sambizanga), Nicolas Nkoulou (Olympqiue Lyonnais), Ambroise Oyongo (Montreal Impact), Adolphe Teikeu (Sochaux)
Midfielders: Franck Boya (Apejes), Arnaud Djoum (Heart of Midlothian), Georges Mandjeck (Metz), Benjamin Moukandjo (Lorient), Edgar Salli (St Gallen), Sebastien Siani (Oostende)
Forwards: Vincent Aboubakar (Besiktas), Christian Bassogog (Aalborg), Clinton Njie (Olympique Marseille), Robert Ndip Tambe (Spartak Trnava), Karl Toko-Ekambi (Angers), Jacques Zoua (Kaiserslautern).
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Clare Fallon)