Cameroon head coach Clarence Seedorf named a 34-man provisional squad for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, with Liverpool centre-back Joel Matip a notable absentee.
The 27-year-old has chosen not to play for the Indomitable Lions since 2015, citing a “bad experience” with the previous coaching staff.
Matip has been instrumental in Liverpool’s quest for the Premier League title this season and their run to the European Champions League final.
His emphatic displays sparked a media maelstrom in Cameroon with calls for the defender to be brought back to the national team.
Cameroon’s coach Clarence Seedorf had expressed his desperation at getting Matip to change his mind, admitting that it will be difficult to see the former Schalke player play for Cameroon again.
Another absentee is Torino centre back Nicholas N’koulou. The 29-year-old defender scored a goal in the final of the 2017 Nations Cup when Cameroon won the title, but since then N’koulou has declined all call-ups to the Indomitable lions.
There is disappointment for Al Tawoon forward Leandre Tawamba Kana who has scored 20 goals in 26 games in his first season in Saudi Arabia, and for Esperance midfielder Frank Kom who is aiming for a second consecutive African Champions League trophy.
But there is room for FC Porto striker Vincent Aboubakar who only recently returned to fitness after spending a lengthy spell on the sidelines following an anterior cruciate ligament injury in September last year.
Seedorf, who is keen to put together a title-defending squad for Cameroon, has also summoned two home-based players.
Eding Sports midfielder Ramses Akono is included and there is a maiden call-up for 21-year-old Coton Sport of Garoua goalkeeper Simon Omossola.
The Dutch tactician has also renewed his faith in Fenerbahçe shot-stopper Idris Carlos Kameni who is yet to play for the Turkish giants this season.
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will be played from 21 June to 19 July in Egypt, and will be the first time the newly expanded tournament features 24 teams.
Goalkeepers: Andre Onana (Ajax Amsterdam, Netherlands),Fabrice Ondoa (Oostende, Belgium),Carlos Kameni (Fenerbahçe, Turkey), Simon Omossola (CotonSport, Cameroon)
Defenders: Collins Fai (Standard Liege, Belgium), Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui (Slavia Prague, Czech Republic), Ambroise Oyongo Bitolo (Montpellier, France), Banana Yaya (Panionios, Greece), Jerome Onguene (Red Bull Salzburg, Austria), Gaetan Bong (Brighton, England), Jean Armel Kana-Biyik (Kayserispor, Turkey), Dawa Tchakonte (Mariupol), Jeando Fuchs (Sochaux, France)
Midfielders: Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Fulham, England), Georges Mandjeck (Maccabi Haifa, Israel), Pierre Kunde Malong (Mainz, Germany), Edgar Salli (Nuremberg, Germany), Arnaud Djoum (Hearts Fc, Scotland), Wilfrid Kaptoum (Betis Sevilla, Spain), Petrus Boumal (Fc Ural, Russia), Ramses Akono (Eding Sport, Cameroon)
Forwards: Fabrice Olinga (Mouscron, Belgium), Vincent Aboubakar (Porto, Portugal), Stephane Bahoken (Angers, France), Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting (PSG, France), Karl Toko Ekambi (Villareal, Spain), Paul-Georges Ntep (Wolfsburg, Germany), Moumi Ngamaleu (Young Boys, Switzerland), Jacques Zoua (Astra, Romania), Clinton Njie (Marseille, France), Christian Bassogog (Henan, China), Joel Tagueu (Maritimo, Portugal), Olivier Boumal (Panionos, Greece), Jean Pierre Nsame (Young Boys, Switzerland), Edgar Salli (Nuremberg, Germany)