Russia may be absent from the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar, but Gael Ondoua, the Cameroonian international midfielder who holds dual Russian citizenship, has ensured that the country’s flag will at least be present during the tournament.
Cameroon failed in their first Group G encounter on Thursday, losing to Switzerland on a single goal from Cameroon’s Breel Embolo, but second-half substitute Ondoua entered the pitch wearing shoes emblazoned with Cameroon flags. and Russia. .
Former CSKA Moscow and Anzhi Makhachkala player Ondoua has already spent several seasons in Russian football after leaving Lokomotiv Moscow academy in 2014, before moving to Servette in Switzerland and then moving to in the German team in Hannover last year.
But the player’s formative years in football came to Russia, as the Russian passport he holds shows, and the 27-year-old was apparently keen to pay tribute to his apprenticeship as a footballer on the sport’s biggest stage. .
Russia is not taking part in the World Cup after being effectively suspended from the possibility of qualification earlier this year when FIFA imposed sanctions on Russian sport following the country’s military operation in Ukraine in February.
Russian club teams have also been hit with restrictions allowing them to participate in European club competitions.
Russia sends World Cup support to Serbia
Ondoua’s nod to Russia comes as his Cameroonian teammate, Moumi Ngamaleu, is one of only two players at the World Cup in Qatar who represent Russian club teams.
Ngamaleu played for Dynamo Moscow in the Russian Premier League after joining the team earlier in 2022 from Swiss side Young Boys.
Former Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren is the other Russia-based representative in Qatar, with the Zenit Saint Petersburg man making his first tournament appearance for Croatia in their 0-0 draw with Morocco on Wednesday.
You can share this story on social media: