Gael Ondoua is soon left without a club.
Midfielder Gael Ondoua shocked the public with a loud statement. The footballer of the Cameroon national team said that he does not play for Hannover because he has a Russian passport.
What Ondoua said
At the end of 2022, Ondoua traveled to the World Cup in Qatar, where he twice came on as a substitute in the group stage matches. In both cases, the player appeared in boots with the Russian tricolor on the field. "Why should I be afraid to enter the field in boots with the Russian flag? Gael said at the World Cup. Russia is my home. I grew up there. I live there. After my career, I will live there. I am not afraid of anything. I feel like a free person!"
After resuming the tournament in the Second Bundesliga, Ondoua did not play a single match for Hannover. Moreover, an African with a Russian passport was never included in the application. At the end of January, Ondoua wrote on his Telegram channel that he was not playing for reasons beyond his control. Gael stressed that there was no injury and that he did his job 100%.
And now Ondoua spoke again. He did it in a column for Sports.ru. The football player linked the lack of playing practice with the pro-Russian position.
"At the club, with which I have a contract until the end of the
season, they don't count on me anymore. Despite the experience of
playing at the World Cup. Despite the disqualification of the
defensive midfielder. Even though the defenders are forced to move
into the center of the field. Despite a series of defeats in the last
rounds. There is no chance I will enter the area this season.
You understand the reasons. Everyone saw what happened after the World
Cup. With me - a football player who is listed in the club as a
Russian citizen. And who believes that a person should always have his
truth and position? And right now, I'm paying the price for it."
In fairness, Ondoua hardly played for Hannover before the World Cup. He was treated for some time, but in general, Gael had only two matches this season! And that was in the summer of 2022. For comparison - in the previous draw of the Second Bundesliga, he had 27 games. It cannot be said that Russophobia flourishes in the second German division. It is enough to pay attention to the defender Alexander Zhirov. This Russian football player has not missed a single match this season with Sandhausen. He played 26 meetings (23 - in the championship, three - in the Cup), and in 11 cases, he entered the field with the captain's armband.
As for Ondoua, he commented on the lack of playing time last week. After one of the training sessions, the midfielder talked to German journalists.
Hannover midfielder Gael Ondoua
"I don't know what I did wrong. I'm hurt by what's going on here. I
played in the World Cup and always gave 100%. It's something personal.
I don't know what else to say. This team is my family. I was hoping
I'd get a second chance."
What are the representatives of "Hannover" saying?
Naturally, neither the head coach nor the bosses of Hannover liked such a statement. The German press reports that Ondua has had a bleak outlook since last August. After the scandalous news, the player's chances of appearing in the line-up approached zero. "Ondoua puts his ego ahead of the interests of the club. In this regard, he is no longer part of our team," said Stefan Leitl, head coach of Hannover, before the match with Greuther Furth (1:1).
Leitl added that Gael does not play solely for sporting reasons. The coach assures that he informed the player about this a long time ago, and since that moment, the position has not changed. According to the German press, the footballer was sent to the second team of Hannover, which plays in the Northern Regional League. Bild claims that Ondoua has given up training with a double and is training individually.
The sporting director of Hanover, Markus Mann, was dissatisfied with the player's statement. In an interview with Bild, he said:
"That's not how it works. We won't let ourselves be fooled. I can't
just stand by and watch it. It is clear what Ondoua wants to achieve
with such a performance. But if a football player puts his interests
above the interests of the club, then he goes to the second team. We
have already told him that he does not qualify for sports reasons. And
then they did it again and again."
Ondoua's current contract expires at the end of the season. Bild reports that the player's representative will fly to Germany to negotiate with the Hannover bosses on the early termination of the contract. The German club wanted to part with the player in the winter, but he decided to stay. "Giving up and running away is not in my nature," Ondoua explained. — If I left at the first difficulties, I would no longer be myself. Hannover has given me a two-year contract, and I want to work it out to the end if possible." The parties have now terminated the agreement.