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Africa Cup of Nations

Aubameyang, Lemina slam ‘false rumours’ and ‘liars’ as Afcon misery ends

4:10 AM IST 18/01/22
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Gabon Guinea-Bissau 14012017
The Gabon pair have been released from the Panthers camp in order to seek healthcare in Europe

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mario Lemina have taken to social media to criticise the alleged ‘false rumours’ that are being spread about them in the aftermath of their release from Gabon’s Africa Cup of Nations camp.

The duo have endured a miserable tournament; testing positive for coronavirus on January 6—missing the Panthers’ first match against Comoros—and then being denied a return—despite testing negative—after residues of the virus were found in their systems before Gabon’s second Group C game against Ghana.

Head coach Patrice Neveu told GOAL on Monday that the pair had been released from the camp and will leave the Africa Cup of Nations in order to seek medical care and more in-depth exams in Europe.

However, in the aftermath of the revelation, rumours have begun to circle on social media that allege the duo were released for disciplinary reasons.

"We already have problems that are difficult to resolve and then there are rumours on top of that,” Aubameyang wrote on his @Auba Twitter handle. “Anyway, we have health to take care of before anything.

“I won't respond to these false rumours and with all my heart, I wish that our team goes as far as possible [at the Afcon]."

Lemina took a more combative tone in an Instagram story—which was shared by Aubameyang—on his @lemsm13 handle.

“I’m not even going to feed the lies which seek to harm,” he began. “I have nothing to do with them.

“I have pain upon pain for my national team, which is surrounded by liars seeking a buzz. Good luck to you for the end of the competition, and for future selections.

“Far from eyes, but close to heart.”

After Caf’s doctors and the Gabon medical team had advised Neveu not to use the players against Ghana, he had initially expressed hope that they would be able to return to action.

However, both the desire to seek medical care elsewhere, and the psychological state of the players—both up whom were struggling with the continued isolation—prompted Fegafoot to liberate them to London and Nice respectively.

Gabon, who have four points from their opening two matches, can reach the knockout stages of the Nations Cup for the first time since 2012 with a point against Morocco in Yaounde on Tuesday.