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Gabon's Aubameyang exits AFCON over health concerns

18 Jan 2022, 19:18 GMT+10

YAOUNDE, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Gabon's football federation said on Monday that it had released striker and captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from the country's squad at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon to return to his club Arsenal for medical checks.

Teammate Mario Lemina, who plays for French club Nice, has also been released from the squad for health reasons.

"The Gabonese Football Federation has decided to put Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mario Lemina at the disposal of their clubs to continue in-depth examinations," the federation said in a statement.

Both players were diagnosed with "heart lesions" following a positive COVID-19 test, according to the federation.

They had not featured in either of Gabon's first two AFCON games after they tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in Cameroon on January 6.

Gabon will play against Morocco in its final AFCON group game on Tuesday as it looks to seal its place in the knockout stages, but the federation confirmed that five other players tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday and will miss Tuesday's game.

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