Samuel Eto'o in Cameroon squad despite retirement reports

By Leocadia BongbenBBC Sport, Yaounde
Samuel Eto'o
Samuel Eto'o

Samuel Eto'o has been called up to the Cameroon squad for their World Cup qualifying play-off game against Tunisia, despite reports last month that he had retired from international football.

Chelsea striker Eto'o reportedly declared his intention not to play for Cameroon to his team-mates after their World Cup qualifier against Libya.

The Cameroon coach Volker Finke did not confirm the reports, saying Eto'o was the right person to make known his decision.

Now, Finke appears to be offering Eto'o a way back into the Indomitable Lions fold after naming him in the 25-man squad for the October fixture, even though it is not clear whether Eto'o will accept the invitation.

There are pressures from different quarters for Eto'o to change his mind and take the team to the World Cup, even if he wants to retire after the play-offs.

Some Cameroon officials have written to Eto'o to ask him to reconsider his decision, as have the National Union of Cameroon Footballers.

Cameroon legend Roger Milla, now a roving ambassador for the national federation, has even offered his help in trying to convince the four-time African Player of the Year to return.

Cameroon are away to Tunisia on 11 October in the first leg of their play-off tie. The home leg is on 15 November, with the winners securing a place at the World Cup in Brazil.

Malaga's Fabrice Olinga and Lyon's Henri Bedimo are also in the squad, despite missing the Libya fixture.

Edgar Salli of Lens is selected in the squad for the first time since Finke became coach.

There is no room for Benoit Assou-Ekotto, on loan at Queens Park Rangers from Tottenham, or for Benoit Angbwa, who plays for Anzhi Makhachkala.

Other high-profile players such as Barcelona's Jean Marie Dongou and Mohamadou Idrissou of Kaiserslautern are on the reserve list.

Cameroon squad:

Goalkeepers: Idriss Carlos Kameni (Malaga, Spain), Charles Itandje (Konyaspor, Turkey), Sammy Ndjock (Fethiyespor, Turkey)

Defenders: Allan Nyom (Grenada, Spain), Aurelien Chedjou (Galatasaray, Turkey), Dany Nounkeu (Galatasaray, Turkey), Nicolas Nkoulou (Marseille, France), Gaetan Bong (Olympiakos, Greece), Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik (Rennes, France), Henri Bedimo (Lyon, France)

Midfielders: Stephan Mbia (Queens Park Rangers, England), Eyong Enoh (Ajax Amsterdam, Netherlands), Jean II Makoun (Rennes, France), Joel Matip (Schalke 04, Germany), Raoul Cedric Loe (Osasuna, Spain), Landry Nguemo (Bordeaux, France), Alex Song (Barcelona, Spain). Edgar Salli (Lens, France)

Forwards: Samuel Eto'o (Chelsea, England), Achille Webo (Fenerbahce, Turkey), Aboubakar Oumarou (Waasland-Beveren, Belgium), Eric-Maxim Choupo Moting (Mainz, Germany), Jacques Zoua (Hamburg, Germany), Benjamin Moukandjo (Nancy, France), Fabrice Olinga (Malaga, Spain)

Standby: Jean-Marie Dongou (Barcelona, Spain), Roland Ndy Assembe (Guingamp, France), Frank Bagnack (Barcelona, Spain), Vincent Aboubakar (Lorient, France). Mohamadou Idrissou (Kaiserslautern, Germany)