Song confirms Onana left out by Senegal for disciplinary reasons
Rigobert Song confirmed goalkeeper Andre Onana was left out of the Cameroon squad for Monday’s 3-3 draw against Serbia for disciplinary reasons - and insisted it was a decision that "had to happen".
Song would not elaborate on the reasons behind Onana's omission - reports suggested it was due to a disagreement over the 26-year-old's playing style in the opening World Cup defeat to Switzerland - but was satisfied he had made the right decision for the wider squad.
Against the Swiss, Onana made the most touches outside the box by a goalkeeper in a World Cup match (26) since records began in 1966.
The row overshadowed Cameroon hitting back from 3-1 down to claim an unlikely Group G draw against Serbia at Al Janoub Stadium, a result that dents both sides' hopes of advancing to the knockout phase.
Song said: "The goalkeeper position is very important but we are in a tournament and I know what I have to do and that is to ensure the team takes precedence over any individuals.
"In a squad, you need discipline and if you can't fit in with that, then you need to accept responsibility for that. Perhaps sometimes you need to take strong action to help people come to the realisation that certain things need to be done.
"All the 26 players are in a position to play. I took a risk but I accept the responsibility. I am interested in the players that I have at my disposal. Andre has been left out, you need to respect the rules that apply to everyone. It was something that had to happen."
Onana was replaced by Devis Epassy, who could have done better with Serbia's second goal but otherwise proved an able deputy.
Song added: "Everyone that did play was capable and those that didn't want to be a part of that, well they can be judged. Epassy showed he is also a very competent goalkeeper.
"I will talk about this in due course, I want to focus now on the Brazil game. We want to deal with players that want to be in the squad and that are proud to represent Cameroon.
"We are talking about one of the best goalkeepers in Europe [in Onana]. We don't question his ability but you do need to ensure the team takes precedence over individuals.
"For the time being I have asked him to wait and see if he is willing to stay with us. It's up to him to a certain extent, he will have to agree to accept the rules."