Cameroon's long-standing captain announced he was quitting for "family reasons" in the dressing room after they beat Libya earlier this month to clinch a playoff berth, according to a report in L'Equipe.
He made no public announcement, however, and Cameroon coach Volke Finke shrugged it off, saying the 32-year-old Chelsea striker was the right man to lead the team in their bid to qualify for an African record seventh World Cup finals.
The talismanic striker has had a turmoil-filled career with the Indomitable Lions and made previous threats to quit the side. He played for Cameroon at the 1998, 2002 and 2010 World Cups.
Cameroon have named a strong squad for the first leg of the playoff at the Rades Stadium on the outskirts of Tunis on October 13.
Defenders Benoit Angbwa and Benoit Assou-Ekotto have been dropped after their 1-0 win over Libya in Yaounde on Sept. 8, while the French-based pair of Henri Bedimo and Edgar Salli and Malaga striker Fabrice Olinga are recalled.
The return match is in Yaounde in November with the aggregate winner qualifying for the finals in Brazil next year.
Goalkeepers: Charles Itandje (Konyaspor), Idriss Carlos Kameni (Malaga), Sammy Ndjock (Fethiyespor)
Defenders: Henri Bedimo (Olympique Lyon), Gaetan Bong (Olympiakos Piraeus), Aurelin Chedjou (Galatasaray), Jean Armel Kana-Biyik (Stade Rennes), Nicolas Nkoulou (Olympique Marseille), Dany Nounkeu (Galatasaray), Allan Nyom (Granada)
Midfielders: Enoh Eyong (Ajax Amsterdam), Raoul Cedric Loe (Osasuna), Jean Makoun (Stade Rennes), Joel Matip (Schalke 04), Stephane Mbia (Sevilla), Landry Nguemo (Girondins Bordeaux), Edgar Salli (Racing Lens), Alex Song (Barcelona)
Forwards: Oumarou Aboubakar (Waasland-Beveren), Eric Choupo Mating (Mainz), Samuel Eto'o (Chelsea), Benjamin Moukandjo (Nancy), Fabrice Olinga (Malaga), Achille Webo (Fenerbahce), Jacques Zoua (Hamburg SV).