CAN 2021: Gabonese Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang forfeits against Ghana with “heart damage”

CAN 2021: Gabonese Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang forfeits against Ghana with “heart damage”

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Aubameyang made his Gabon debut in 2009 as a teenager

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed the Africa Cup of Nations draw between Gabon and Ghana on Friday after tests revealed ‘heart damage’ following a bout of Covid.

However, it is understood Arsenal medics have spoken to Gabonese medics, who said the situation was not serious and he was feeling fine.

Aubameyang tested positive upon his arrival in Cameroon last week.

He had a CT scan as a precaution before being allowed to return.

Former Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina, now at Nice, and striker Axel Meye were dismissed for the same reason.

The Gabonese Football Federation suggested that the three absences were preventive.

“Medical examinations show heart damage and CAF did not want to take any risks,” he added. The Gabonese Football Federation tweetedexternal link.

Speaking after the 1-1 draw with Ghana, Gabon head coach Patrice Neveu said he was briefed just two hours before kick-off in a phone call from the Caf that the three players would be unavailable.

He described the scan results as a “little problem” and said he made the decision to protect his players.

“It is clear from reading the report that Aubameyang does not have heart problems, fortunately for him, and neither does Lemina,” Neveu said.

“We’re going to do MRIs and all the other tests that need to be done, but I think it was wise not to let them play. We followed protocol.”

Neveu said he hoped the players would be available for Gabon’s final group game against Morocco on Tuesday.

Aubameyang missed Gabon First CAN game, in which they beat Comoros 1-0 Monday.

A win against Ghana would secure them an automatic place in the round of 16 alongside Group C leaders Morocco.

Aubameyang, who also tested positive for Covid in August 2021 while on duty at Arsenal,external link was dropped and stripped of the club’s captaincy last month for disciplinary reasons.

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