Moukandjo exits Indomitable Lions' den

Sunday September 23 2018

Former Cameroon Indomitable Lions' captain

Former Cameroon Indomitable Lions' captain Benjamin Moukandjo. He has announced his retirement from the national team. PHOTO | BBC 

By NDI EUGENE NDI
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Cameroon Indomitable Lions captain Benjamin Moukandjo has announced his retirement from the national team, weeks after head coach Clarence Seedorf left him out of his squad.

Moukandjo, who captained the Indomitable Lions to their fifth continental crown in Gabon in 2017, was excluded from Seedorf’s squad for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) 2019 game against the Comoros earlier this month.

Unveiling his first ever selection at a press conference in Yaoundé, the new Indomitable Lions head coach said good players play for the best clubs in Europe and appear in top competitions like the Champions League and not in China and Asia, a statement that apparently provoked Moukandjo’s decision.

Plies his trade

“I learned of my non-selection by coach Clarence Seedorf and the comments he made which is unfair to me because in my capacity as captain who led the lions to their fifth coronation, I did not even receive a phone call from the coach to tell me about his decision,” Moukandjo, who plays for Beijing Renhe, said in a statement on Saturday.

Seedorf also dropped Afcon 2017 Most Valuable Player Christian Bassogog, who now plies his trade with Chinese Super League club Henan Jianye FC.

Moukandjo said he differs with coach Seedorf’s comment that the Chinese league is not competitive.

The expectations

“I find it absurd to think those who play in China are not competitive. My real level and that of my teammates would have first been tested on the field before the coach’s decision to shelve any player,” Moukandjo said.

The former Indomitable Lions captain said though retired, he remains proud of the years spent with the team and expressed gratitude to his teammates and all those who supported and trusted and him.

“I am convinced, in all humility that I have accomplished my mission, living up to the expectations of my country. I wish the national team good luck for the next Africa Cup of Nations and I hope they will be able to win it for the honour of Cameroon,” Moukandjo further said in the release.

The 29-year-old joined the national team in 2011 and has since made 55 appearances scoring eight goals.