Brentford’s France-born forward Bryan Mbeumo hopes switching national team loyalty to Cameroon can win him a place at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Mbeumo is one of many wanting to impress from Thursday as the five African qualifiers – Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia – play two warm-up matches each.

Brighton defender Tariq Lamptey and Athletic Bilbao forward Inaki Williams, both born in Europe to Ghanaian parents, are among others taking advantage of a Fifa rule that permits changing allegiance.

An increasing number of footballers from Europe are choosing to represent the African country where their parents or grandparents were born.

Opponents for the African quintet between Thursday and Tuesday range from record five-time World Cup winners Brazil to Nicaragua, ranked 139th in the world.

Here, AFP Sport reveals how the qualifiers are shaping up for the last international window until club football halts just seven days before the World Cup kicks off on Nov 20.


Apart from selecting Mbeumo for the first time, coach Rigobert Song has recalled Nicolas Nkoulou and George Mandjeck for matches in South Korea against the host nation and Uzbekistan.

Defender Nkoulou last lined up for the Indomitable Lions five years ago and midfielder Mandjeck has not featured for the five-time African champions since 2019.

“We need experienced players like Nicolas and George, who will help our new generation of players grow. They are passionate and patriotic,” said Song.


Last modified: September 21, 2022