Gabon released Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mario Lemina to return to their clubs on Monday after they were diagnosed with heart lesions at the African Cup of Nations.
Aubameyang Gabon's captain and striker for Arsenal in the Premier League, together with Lemina, a midfielder with French club Nice, have departed from Cameroon. The Gabon Football Federation said the two players will undergo more thorough medical tests at their European club.
Indeed, just a few days before their first match in the Africa Cup of Nations the duet was tested positive to Covid-19. If they progressively recovered, cardiac lesions were found on the players as the Confederation of African Football medical officials checked on them.
Even if the choice was tough it was a necessary one according to their coach Patrice Neveu: "There are no big alarms regarding their heart problem. However, we are not able to evaluate the seriousness of what caused this [heart] inflammation. So, we cannot take any risk. Moreover, the psychological aspect becomes unbearable for them Yesterday we talked about it and we decided to make them go back."
Their teammate Axel Meye, welcome the decision: "The fact that they are going back to their clubs, I think it's the best solution because I was also in their situation."
The Panthers of Gabon will play the Atlas Lions of Morocco on Tuesday, January 18 at 7 PM in Yaoundé (Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo).