Cameroon hit back at AWOL star

AFCON News

Cameroon have hit back at claims that Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting's call-up to the national team was sent to the wrong e-mail address.

Earlier this week, the Indomitable Lions made headlines for all the wrong reasons when the Bayern Munich forward's father claimed the football association had erroneously sent his son's call-up for this month's 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers to the wrong e-mail address.

"I was contacted by the association to find out what was going on. I contacted FC Bayern and they confirmed that they had not received the invitation," he told Naja TV. "It looks like they sent it to the wrong email address instead. For me, that's a lack of professionalism.

"When sending invitations, be sure to send them to the correct address. If that doesn't happen, I don't understand why it's the club's or Maxim's fault."

However, Cameroon have been quick to dispel these suggestions and accused the German-born striker of intentionally ignoring the national team call-up – something the 31-year-old has allegedly done on previous occasions.

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"The Cameroon Football Federation FECAFOOT made no mistake of the email address or contacts to the club and to the player," Cameroon's head of communications Parfait Siki told ESPN.

"We sent out invitations to all players including Choupo on the 5th of March 2021. We sent to clubs and players individually. For the particular case of Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting, we got no reply. We called him and he didn't answer. Normally, we are supposed to have a reply within 10 days.

"We did a follow-up by calling him and sending his invitation via his WhatsApp contact, still no response. In our context, this was a clear message the player was sending. The same situation occurred during our previous matches against Mozambique in Douala and in Maputo for which he didn't show up.

"When he and his club stayed silent this time, we interpreted that to mean unavailability of the player to play for the country. This is why the coach took the decision to announce his squad list on the 16th of March for the upcoming matches without [Chupo-Monting's] name."

The former Paris Saint-Germain and Schalke 04 star made his international debut in 2010 and has since scored 15 goals in 55 appearances for Cameroon, including six goals across AFCON qualifiers.

Choupo-Moting would not be the first player to turn his back on the country in recent years, after fellow German-born footballer Joël Matip made himself unavailable for national team selection during his time with Schalke.

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