Song back in Cameroon squad for African qualifier

Song back in Cameroon squad for African qualifier

Published May. 18, 2011 12:14 p.m. ET

Arsenal midfielder Alex Song has been included in Cameroon's 23-man squad for the crucial African Cup of Nations qualifier against Senegal next month.

Song has not played for his country since Cameroon lost all three games at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa under then-coach Paul Le Guen.

The 23-year-old Song was named alongside Espanyol goalkeeper Carlos Kameni in coach Javier Clemente's squad late Tuesday. Both players had reportedly turned down invitations to join up with the national team earlier in qualifying for the 2012 African Cup.

Tottenham defenders Sebastien Bassong and Benoit Assou-Ekotto and leading striker Samuel Eto'o of Inter Milan were in the squad.


The Spanish coach also retained Matthew Mbuta, who plays for Crystal Palace Baltimore in the second tier in the United States and scored on his Cameroon debut in a 1-0 friendly win over Macedonia in February.

The four-time African champions are third in their group - five points behind leader Senegal - and need to beat the Senegalese at home on June 4 to boost their slim hopes of advancing.

Cameroon lost 1-0 to Senegal in Dakar in March to drop behind Congo in Group E on goal difference.

Cameroon is one of three former champions struggling to qualify for the 2012 African Cup in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. At the halfway stage, Tunisia and seven-time winner Egypt are also facing elimination in an unpredictable qualifying tournament.