Rigo Fined

Rigobert Song will be out of pocket when he plays for West Ham at the weekend.

He has sacrificed playing for Cameroon on Sunday in their important World Cup qualifier against Angola to battle for Premiership survival with the Hammers instead.

And for that, he is paying the price.

Rigo, the Cameroon captain, reveals:

"I told my national team I want to play for West Ham;  it is a big decision I'm taking, because I need to stay with my team on Saturday in a game we really want to win.

"I'm doing a big sacrifice - I don't know how much but the fine will be yet but I told the national team boss I want to play with West Ham.

"I accept the decision and the fine is not a problem  - if I stay in the Premiership it is worth it.

"When you are the captain you want to set an example and every manager wants someone like me in the team.

"The national manager said 'we need you but we understand your situation' but I will get a fine anyway.

"If  the manager of the national team needs you, you probably go because of FIFA."

Since he has aked permission to stay behind, however, he will not be banned from playing for the Hammers and instead his country has come up with this curious compromise. 

"I have played every game with them, but he understands my problem and doesn't want me to be in the first division; he said 'it's your life'."

Harry Redknapp, at Rigo's request, also spoke with the Cameroon manager.

Cameroon need one point from two games - much like West Ham, though with the somewhat different prize of World Cup glory and if they lose to Angola they will have to beat Togo to qualify.

It is one piece of good news for H, who has lost Rigo to various internationals this season.

He has also lost Guinean Titi Camara for the same reason this campaign, though ironically now his country has been thrown out of international competition he is injured anyway.

Rigo adds:

"I'm happy; it's important everyone is together including all the fans who went to Manchester.

"It was very good for the players on the way back to see the manager was happy with the second half - we gave our all for the great supporters of this club.

"It is the big game, and we need to stand up and be counted as men on Saturday.

"The first situation is to win, and the second is to finish with a good result for the supporters; we need a point and on Saturday everyone will want to die on the pitch.

"The thing is not to see good football  - it is to get a good result; it will be a game for men and we will show that on Saturday."

He insists West Ham are in a false position and adds:

"I'm saying every time it is not the real position when you see the players we have: we are better than that.

"We did well in the second half on Saturday and did everything but score; sometimes football is like that.

"It is very important to stay in the Premiership and then we will have big ambitions for next season."

He wants to stress that he has no regrets about moving to Upton Park and says:

"West Ham is a great club with good trainers and a good manager, and we have fantastic fans who show us their support every time.

"It is not because people are not doing their job that we are in this position, everyone is, but sometimes you play well and lose or play badly and win."

Rigo says he is "praying" that Ian Pearce will be alright [he will] after clashing heads with him at the weekend and explains how the incident happened:

"Ian Pearce and I saw the ball; I wanted to go for safety and head the ball but his head hit mine and that was the problem.

"I'm very sorry and praying that everything will go good for him; the problem was we were not talking.

"There was no time to as Wanchope was putting us under pressure."

As for the debate about 4-4-2 versus 3-5-2, with the Hammers playing both at Maine Road, he shrugs: 

"That is not my problem, I'm just a player - at Liverpool I played with four, with the national team I play with three, but it is not my place to say I prefer this or this."