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Three Gabon Footballers Ruled Out of Africa Cup of Nations Contest Due to Suspected Heart Problem


32-year-old Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was pulled from Gabon’s Africa Cup of Nations contest against Ghana with a suspected heart problem.

The Arsenal striker tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after arriving in Cameroon for the tournament.

Medical examinations revealed Aubameyang had “cardiac lesions,” and the Confederation of African Football did not want to take any risks.

Aubameyang’s teammates, Mario Lemina and Axel Meye, sat out the 1-1 draw versus Ghana for the same reason.

The Gabon Football Federation said the decision to sit the players was precautionary. reported:

A statement from the Gabon Football Federation said: “According to the CAF medical commission, the players Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Axel Meyé and Mario Lemina barely out of the Covid cannot take part in this match. The examinations would show heart problems. CAF did not want to take any risks.”

Aubameyang posted a crying emoji on Instagram following the statement, in which he expressed words of encouragement for his teammates. understands that Arsenal have since spoken with Gabon’s medical staff and are confident that the striker is in a good condition after he trained two consecutive days prior to the game.

As BBC reported, officials downplayed the severity of the medical diagnosis:

However, it is understood Arsenal’s doctors have spoken to Gabon’s medics, who have said the situation is not serious and he is feeling well.

Aubameyang tested positive on arrival in Cameroon last week.

He had a scan as a precautionary measure before being allowed to return.

Ex-Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina, now at Nice, and forward Axel Meye have been ruled out for the same reason.

The Gabon Football Federation suggested that all three absences were precautionary.

“Medical examinations show cardiac lesions and CAF did not want to take any risks,” the Gabon Football Federation tweeted.

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

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

“It’s clear from reading the report that Aubameyang doesn’t have heart problems, luckily for him, and neither does Lemina,” said Neveu.

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

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

Aubameyang missed Gabon’s Afcon opener, in which they beat Comoros 1-0 on Monday.

While Aubameyang’s COVID-19 inoculation status is unknown, Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta has pressured club players to take the injection.

As Mirror noted:

Mikel Arteta is prepared to limit the involvement of Arsenal players who are refusing to get vaccinated against coronavirus.

The Gunners have endured a torrid start to the Premier League season, losing their opening three games, and they have missed numerous players who have tested positive for Covid-19.

An outbreak in August saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Willian and Alex Runarsson ruled out.

Although the vaccine status of most individual players is unknown, Arteta insists the majority of his squad have received both doses.

Lemina plays for Ligue 1 club OGC Nice and Daily Mail reported the latest COVID-19 jab requirement for athletes competing in France:

France president Emmanuel Macron announced that full, double-vaccinations will be mandatory for professional sports people in the country from January 15 under new Covid rules.


Latest figures state that 98 per cent of elite rugby players in France are vaccinated, with the figure slightly lower at 95 per cent of footballers. Yet, in both cases, that is higher than respective figures in England.

Axel Meye competes for Ittihad Tanger in the Botola Pro. As stated by Allo Docteurs, Botola Pro made COVID-19 jabs compulsory for players in August.

The measures are drastic. As Morocco worries about the rise in critical cases of Covid-19, sports authorities have decided to tighten the screw.

Until now, the players of the Moroccan football championship only had to prove a negative test to be able to participate in a meeting. But now, professional footballers playing in Botola Pro1 Inwi and Botola Pro2 Inwi must have received their two doses of coronavirus vaccine to play . As the start of the 2021/2022 Botola Pro season approaches, we imagine that many clubs in the kingdom will face certain difficulties: some players have not yet returned from vacation, and others may be reluctant to the idea of ​​getting vaccinated.

The news of Aubameyang, Lemina, and Meye developing cardiac lesions comes on the heels of Bayern Munich winger Alphonso Davies getting diagnosed with myocarditis.

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