Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was reportedly left out of Gabon’s African Cup of Nations match against Ghana on Saturday due to what has been described as a ‘minor’ heart condition.
The former Arsenal captain, who lost the armband following his latest bout of indiscipline in December and was subsequently frozen out of the team, controversially tested positive for COVID-19 after an alleged party with some of his international teammates. Having missed the opening match against the Comoros while he recovered from the virus, he was supposed to represent his country against Thomas Partey’s Ghana in the second round of the tournament’s group stage.
However, the newly established problem ruled him out, and it remains unclear at this point whether he’ll be able to take part in the final match against Morocco on Tuesday. The medical staff in the Gabon camp will continue to monitor his health in the coming days before a decision on his involvement is made. Arsenal will be kept informed on a daily basis.
Though there has been no confirmation on any of this from Arsenal, the club are said to be in direct contact with Aubameyang and have apparently been satisfied that the condition is ‘not serious’.
Along with the Arsenal forward, teammates Mario Lemina and Axel Meye, who are both believed to have attended the alleged party and also tested positive to COVID-19 afterwards, were shown to have “cardiac lesions”. Therefore the Confederation of African Football chose not to take any risks.
Having beaten the Comoros in the opening match by 1-0, Gabon drew 1-1 with Ghana in a highly controversial contest which included a late red card for Ghana striker Benjamin Tetteh for throwing a punch at an opponent.
Morocco currently lead the way in Group C with six points, Gabon are second with four, Ghana third with one, and the Comoros are without points at the bottom. A draw in final round with Morocco would be enough for Gabon to secure a place in the next stage, and a win would obviously see them finish top of the group. As for Ghana, they’ll be hoping for a Morocco win there while they make sure they don’t slip up against the Comoros.