Aubameyang Quits AFCON Over Heart Problem, Returns To Arsenal
Aubameyang has been forced to depart the tournament earlier than expected on health grounds.
The Gabonese Football Federation has confirmed that the captain of the Gabonese national team, Pierre-Emerick Emiliano François Aubameyang, will be allowed to end his AFCON 2021 campaign early because of his health condition.
Aubameyang has not featured in any of Gabon’s games at the ongoing AFCON in Cameroon after testing positive for COVID-19earlier this month. Though he was due to return in their second group fixture against Ghana, this was, however, blocked by CAF due to medical conditions.
Coach of the Gabonese national team, Patrice Neveu, has confirmed that the Central African country’s star player will be allowed to return to England because of his health problem and for early assessment of the residue of COVID-19 in him.
Aubameyang is not the only player in the Gabonese team that will be allowed to leave Cameroon on medical ground. Fellow teammate and OGC Nice player, Mario Lemina, will also be allowed to leave the team camp in Cameroon.
Patrice Neveu said: “Since yesterday, the decision was taken to send them home to their club. We can’t judge it here, we can’t assess the pathology of COVID here. It’s important that Mario returns to Nice and Pierre returns to Arsenal. It is a decision that we’ve taken among ourselves.”
The 32-year-old striker is no longer a favourite for Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta. He was excluded from Arsenal’s last seven fixtures before departing for the Africa Cup of Nations. Aubameyang joined Arsenal from Dortmund in 2018, for a record transfer fee for a Gabonese player. With Arsenal, he has won the FA Cup and the FA Community Shield. He was named the Africa Footballer of the Year for 2015 and won the Premier League Golden Boot for the 2018/2019 season.