Health

Aubameyang tests positive for COVID on arrival at Cup of Nations

Aubemayang
and team mate Mario Lemina returned positive results when tested on arrival at
Yaounde’s airport, along with assistant coach Anicet Yala, the Gabon Football
Federation said in a statement.

The three
have now taken PCR tests to verify the results of the antigen tests, the
statement added.

If positive
again, they will have to go into isolation and would almost certainly miss
Gabon’s opening game in Group C against the Comoros Islands in Yaounde on
Monday.

The Gabon
delegation had travelled from Dubai, where they had been preparing for the
tournament, which starts on Sunday and runs to Feb 6.

Preparations
for most countries, over the last fortnight, have been hit by players returning
positive tests and having to go into quarantine.

Senegal’s
departure to the tournament on Wednesday was delayed by three positive cases
and the Cape Verde Islands have had an astonishing 21 individual positive
results at their pre-tournament training camp.

The
32-year-old Aubameyang played for Gabon on Tuesday, scoring as they drew 1-1
with fellow finalists Mauritania in a warm-up friendly.

He was
released early from his club Arsenal to join the Gabon squad after falling out
of favour with manager Mikel Arteta, who stripped him of the captaincy last
month following a “disciplinary breach”.

He last
played for the Gunners in a 2-1 league defeat at Everton on Dec. 6.

Aubameyang
signed a new three-year contract with Arsenal last year but has struggled this
season, scoring only four Premier League goals — the last of which was in
October.

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Gabon
reported one positive COVID-19 case while in Dubai but said striker Aaron
Boupendza had returned a negative test after a few days in quarantine and
travelled with the rest of the squad to Cameroon on Thursday.

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