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Afcon: Cameroon unveil 40-man provisional squad

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Cameroon coach António Conceiçao has named a provisional squad for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2021.

Conceiçao released the 40-man list on Friday December 10, officially launching the Indomitable Lions’ quest for a sixth crown on home soil.

The squad’s life-wire is constituted by Arnaud Djoum, Njie Clinton, Toko Karl, Vincent Aboubakar, Christian Bassogog, Fai Collins, Oyongo Bitolo and Michael Ngadeu, all instrumental during Cameroon’s fifth AFCON triumph in Gabon 2017.

Apart from a few new faces, the team is also well represented by players who championed both the AFCON and Qatar World Cup qualifiers.

SCO Angers defender Enzo Ebosse, Galatasaray’s Sacha Boey, in-form Asteras Tripolis forward Kevin Olivier Soni and Ebobisse Ebolo, who plays for San Jose Earthquakes in the USA Major League Soccer, have got their first national team call-ups.

Of them, only goalkeeper Narcisse Nlend Junior and defender Samuel Kotto play with domestic clubs Coton Sport and Apejes of Mfou respectively. The rest of the squad is made up of abroad based players.

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The five goalkeepers who have made the cut are led apparently by Ajax Amsterdam’s Andre Onana. Conceiçao lines up 16 defenders from which the apt will be picked.

After overcoming an injury spell, Arnaud Djoum has bounced back as one among eight midfielders. Thirteen forwards have been shortlisted, an act that highlights the Portuguese gaffer’s goal-scoring ambitions.

The technical staff will reduce the squad to 28 before the tournament gets underway.

The Indomitable Lions open the 24-nations tournament on January 9 against Burkina Faso. Thereafter, they will confront 1962 champions Ethiopia.

Their final group match, on January 17, pits them against Cape Verde.

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Provisional Squad

Goalkeepers: André Onana, Omossola Simon, Epassy Devis, Efala Komguep Jean, Nlend Narcisse Junior

Defenders: Ngadeu Michael, Fai Collins, Mbaizo Olivier, Castelleto Jean Charles, Oyongo Bitolo Ambroise, Billong Jean Claude, Samuel Kotto, Jerome Onguene, Tchamba Duplex, Nouhou Tolo, Enzo Ebosse, Dawa Tchakounte, Boey Sacha, Harold Moukoudi

Midfielders: Jean Onana, Kunde Malong, Zambo Anguissa, Oum Gouet Samuel, Hongla Martin, Arnaud Djoum, Lea Siliki James, Neyou Yvan

Forwards: Ganago Ignatius, Bassogog Christian, Choupo Moting, Bahoken Stephane, Toko Ekambi Karl, Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu, Kevin Olivier Soni, Aboubakar Vincent, Paul Georges Ntep, John Mary, Njie Clinton, Jeremy Ebobisse Ebolo, Leandre Tawamba Kana.

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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