Frantz Pangop has not signed with Minnesota United, says Cameroon coach Rigobert Song
Rigobert Song, head coach of Cameroon’s home-based national side, says that Frantz Pangop remains a Union Douala player despite being unveiled by Major League Soccer club Minnesota United.
Minnesota confirmed on their official website on Jan. 9 that they’d secured the signature of Pangop from Cameroonian Elite One side Union Douala, but the forward was still named in the Indomitable Lions’ squad for the ongoing African Nations Championship in Morocco.
The CHAN is a tournament exclusively for players plying their trade in Africa’s local leagues, meaning that had Pangop been registered for Minnesota United, he would be ineligible for the tournament.
But a source close to Minnesota United told ESPN on Thursday that while Pangop has signed a contract, he does not yet have his international transfer certificate, and therefore he is eligible to play for Cameroon.
Pangop started Cameroon’s CHAN opener — a 1-0 defeat by Congo-Brazzaville — and former Liverpool defender Song confirmed exclusively to KweséESPN after the match that the attacker remains a Union Douala player.
“Who is [Pangop] registered with?” Song began. ‘Has he been there? Has he played for them? Has he signed? No.
“[Cameroon are] staying within the rules. We’re only playing with players who are registered with local clubs.
“For us, right now, Pangop is a Union player.”
The 24-year-old wideman, who found the net for Cameroon’s senior side during their failed bid to reach the 2018 World Cup in Russia, previously represented Orgryte in Sweden as well as Coton Sport in his homeland.
“If he has offers, that’s no bad thing,” Song added, “but right now, he belongs to us.
“After the tournament, he can sign for whoever he likes.”
Minnesota United, who failed to make the MLS playoffs in their first season in the league, do not resume games until the first week of March.
Cameroon’s home-based Lions continue their African Nations Championship campaign against Angola in Agadir on Saturday, where defeat could condemn them to a first-round elimination.
Ed Dove is the Soccer Editor for KweséESPN. Follow him on Twitter @EddyDove.