Per reports by several outlets including the BBC, Bayern Munich striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has had a serious falling out with the Cameroon coach. The player was originally listed as the captain for the Cameroonian team set to face Burkina Faso in their 3rd place playoff match, but eventually ended up not even making the starting XI. He was officially listed as injured and unfit to play.
Reports out of Cameroon claimed that Choupo actually refused to play for coach Tony Conceicao and that’s why he was missing from the game. Now the striker has confirmed the rumors by explaining his side of the story (BeIN Sports via @iMiaSanMia):
Choupo-Moting responds: "I told the coach I couldn't play this match because I didn't feel good psychologically, because of everything that happened. I came here to help the team win the AFCON. The coach showed me that he does not count 100% on me" [@beinsports_FR] https://t.co/vpo99qoReV— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) February 6, 2022
“We played 120 minutes in the semi-finals and he didn’t even bring me on,” said the striker. “For me, that’s a lack of respect. I had to tell the coach the truth. I’m very disappointed and very frustrated. I couldn’t play, but I was 100% with the team.”
“At the end of the day I respect every decision from the coach. You have to, as he is the boss, but you don’t have to understand it — so I don’t understand.”
According to the player’s father (via @iMiaSanMia), Choupo-Moting will not play again for Cameroon under Tony Conciecao. Without knowing the details behind the decision, it’s hard to judge Choupo or his coach for their choices. However, the player has been rather good for Bayern Munich since joining the club in 2020, so it’s hard to see why he would be left out for Cameroon. The striker will now return to Bayern Munich and resume his duties as the understudy to Robert Lewandowski, a role he feels comfortable with.
Will Choupo answer a Cameroon callup when the next international break rolls around? Cameroon still have to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with critical matches against Algeria coming up in March. If this spat between Choupo-Moting and the coach leads to him sitting out of those games, it could cost the nation a spot in the World Cup.