Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang may not play for Gabon again following a row with the country’s football association, new coach Daniel Cousin has told RMC.
Gabon captain Aubameyang reacted angrily when the Gabon Football Federation announced that his father, Pierre Francois, would be co-coach, claiming they had done so the day before he had said he would give his decision on the offer.
The Arsenal striker claimed his father was yet to give his response to the job offer, while the federation said it had been pressured into making the announcement by Gabon’s Minister for Sport and Youth.
Cousin, who has been put in sole charge, fears his hopes of steering the country to next year’s African Nations Cup will be hampered by the absence of his star player.
“I left a message with his father, because I’m closer to him,” he said. “But given what happened, I didn’t want to rub salt in the wound with Pierre-Emerick.
“After what happened, I hope he’ll honour his call-ups for the good of the Panthers, and that he’ll help us qualify for the Nations Cup. But we can also consider a Plan B if he doesn’t — we have other players, and we’ll make do.”
Cousin said he was uncertain whether Aubameyang, who was born in France but opted to play for the country of his father’s birth, would play in the qualifying double-header against South Sudan next month.
“After what happened on social media, I can’t tell you his decision. As things got a bit heated, I’m not sure,” he said.
“For the moment, I haven’t had an answer. After the defeat against Zambia [in a friendly], he told me he would be there, but that was before this thing. I’m going to try and stay positive and I hope he’ll be with us.”
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