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2023 AFCON Playoffs : Rigobert Song Unveils List of Preselected Players

Rigobert Song

Rigobert Song has just unveiled a list of 34 preselected for the AFCON2023 qualifiers, several players honour their first call-up.


In the position of goalkeeper, Mbahbi Marcelin has been preselected for the first time with the Indomitable Lions team. Present at the recent CHAN, the keeper of Gazelle FA Garoua is the only representative of the local championship in this list. Even if he does not appear in the final list, it will already be a great victory for the one who only a few months ago was playing in the second division in Cameroon.

With the injury of Enzo Ebosse, the defensive compartment sees the very first preselections of Malcom Bokele and Flavien Boyomo. The first, a solid defender of Fc Bordeaux in the French Ligue 2, was called up in October 2021 with the U23s. As for Flavien Boyomo, he has not been called up for any national team with Cameroon. He plays for Albacete Palombia in the Spanish second division.


The midfield and the attack have received the call-ups of Olivier Kemen, Baleba Carlos, Njongoue Benjamin Elliot and Daniel Namaso. Olivier Kemen has long played for the French youth teams. The 26-year-old has never been called up to the first team. The midfielder from Kayserispor in Turkey has the opportunity to make his senior debut for the Indomitable Lions.  Last time I checked, Carlos Baleba had put Cameroon on hold. But he is indeed in Song’s 34-man squad.

Question many ask is will the 19-year-old Lille midfielder honour this shortlist? Benjamin Elliot Njongoue is a Cameroonian nugget who plays for English club Chelsea Fc’s under-21 team. With Chelsea Youths, he has one goal and two assists in 15 games this season. Daniel Namaso, the powerful striker from Porto Fc in Portugal, has played for England’s youth teams. At 22, he was already in the sights of Harry Southgate, the English coach. But Rigobert Song anticipated this. The only thing left to do is for his rookies to choose to represent their country of origin.

Published on 05.05.2023

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