Cameroon coach Denis Lavagne has expressed his surprise and disappointment at Samuel Eto'o's decision to reject a return to the national set-up.
Eto'o, who plays his club football for Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia, was named in Lavagne's squad for the African Nations Cup qualifier against Cape Verde in September after serving an eight-month ban - imposed by the Cameroon Football Federation (CFF) - for his part in a player strike over unpaid bonuses.
But the 31-year-old is now in self-imposed exile as part of a protest against "amateurism and poor organisation" within the CFF.
His absence is a blow for Lavagne, who told Jeune Afrique: "I counted on him after his eight-month suspension. He would make us better because he has huge talent.
"I'm surprised, but I have no choice but to take note of his refusal."
Sparta Prague striker Leonard Kweuke has been drafted in as Eto'o's replacement but he is not of the same calibre as a man who has scored 54 goals in 109 appearances for the Indomitable Lions.
Eto'o insists he is taking a stance for the good of the team, and the country, but admits he is not sure it will be perceived that way.
In an open letter to the CFF, which was published on his personal website, Eto'o wrote: "Our national team continues to dwell in an environment characterised by amateurism and poor organisation not compatible with professional sports.
"I doubt if supporters of the Indomitable Lions will understand my move aimed at attracting attention to the imperative necessity to make the team professional.
"The team is a veritable institution that has contributed much to the nation and from which much is still expected."