Afcon 2021: Gabon's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out of game against Ghana with 'heart lesions'

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

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed Gabon's Africa Cup of Nations draw with Ghana on Friday after scans revealed "heart lesions" following a bout of Covid.

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 tweetedexternal-link.

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 players 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.

Victory against Ghana would assure them of an automatic qualifying spot for the knockout stages, alongside Group C leaders Morocco.

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

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