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Monday, August 27, 2018

Clarence Seedorf Won’t Call Up China-Based Players for Cameroon National Team

Bleacher Report  | Cameroon manager Clarence Seedorf has snubbed captain Benjamin Moukandjo and forward Christian Bassogog from his squad because they play their football in China, telling reporters he won’t call up players who have moved out to the Far East.

As reported by BBC Sport’s Njie Enow, the Dutchman said he will make exceptions for players plying their trade in the Middle East, but the Chinese league is off-limits:

“Good young players don’t compete in China or in Asia.

“Players must understand that if they go after more lucrative contracts, then they forfeit their chances of playing in the national team.

“But we’re not closing the door on anyone, we want disciplined and hardworking players and if someone is in the Middle East yet he can deliver for the team, we’ll bring him in.

“The best players want to play for the best clubs in Europe and appear in top competitions like the Champions league.”

Per Enow, both Moukandjo and Bassogog played key roles in the Indomitable Lions’ run to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations title, the nation’s first since 2002.

Belgian manager Hugo Broos was in charge of that triumphant run, but the team failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and added controversy eventually led to his departure, per BBC Sport.

Seedorf took the job this summer after a failed stint with Deportivo La Coruna that lasted just a few months. He made his managerial debut at AC Milan, where he was sacked in 2014, before moving to China to take control of Shenzen FC.

He received plenty of criticism for his comments, including from sportswriter Salim Masoud Said and player representative Christopher Atkins.

He also surprisingly called up Paul-Georges Ntep, the Wolfsburg forward who was born in Cameroon but has played for various French youth teams and has two appearances for the senior side under his belt. As these were only friendlies, he’s still eligible to switch to Cameroon.

Cameroon will play their first AFCON qualifier against Coromos on September 7. They’ll also take on Morocco and Malawi in Group B of qualifying. As hosts of the 2019 tournament, they have already qualified.