• Saturday, April 20, 2024
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AFCON: Man United fans pushing for Onana January exit

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Manchester United fans are pushing for Andre Onana’s exit in January 2024 if the Cameroonian goalkeeper is called up for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Onana playing for Cameroon was previously viewed as a significant obstacle for the Premier League team. Many worried that Man United would suffer due to missing their £47.2 million signing for a month at the most frantic period of the season, but his absence may now be viewed as a gift in disguise.

Following his latest blunder in Wednesday’s Champions League draw at Galatasaray, Onana is considering declining an international call-up to focus on his club form.

Onana blundered a Hakim Ziyech free-kick in Istanbul as United twice let a two-goal lead slip and now sit on the brink of a group-stage exit in the Champions League. Similar oversights on the domestic front have contributed to United’s standing in sixth place, placing manager Erik ten Hag under immense pressure.

Read also Ex-Nigerian goalkeeper Egbo backs Onana amid Man United struggles

Onana, 27, faces a ban from United games if his country invites him for the 2023 AFCON, which begins on January 13.

Some Man United supporters are eager for a break from the former Ajax and Inter Milan stopper following a string of errors early in his United career. Still, those prayers may go unanswered due to a ruling specific to cases like these.

According to FIFA rules: “A player who his association has called up for one of its representative teams is, unless otherwise agreed by the relevant association, not entitled to play for the club with which he is registered during the period for which he has been released or should have been released under the provisions of this annexe, plus an additional period of five days.”

After retiring from international duty in December 2022, Onana reversed his decision in September 2023 and made three starts for the Indomitable Lions. He kept clean sheets in convincing wins over Mauritius and Burundi, with the latter being a key AFCON qualifier.

The only way Onana will play for United in January 2024 is if he does not get a call-up from Cameroon, as many Red Devils fans would be glad to see the former Inter Milan shot-stopper play at next year’s AFCON, and that would be seen as a big relief for the fans who are lost confidence in him.