Gabonese captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was tested and diagnosed with COVID-19 when he arrived in Cameroon on Thursday, January 6, threatening to take part in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Aubemayang and teammate Mario Lemina gave positive results in tests when they arrived at Yaoundé airport, with assistant coach Anicet Yala, the Gabonese Football Federation said in a statement.
The three have now passed PCR tests to confirm the results of antigen tests, the report added.
If they are hopeful again, they will be forced to separate and will no doubt miss Gabon’s opening Group C match against Comoros in Yaoundé on Monday.
The Gabonese delegation was from Dubai, where they were preparing for the tournament, which starts on Sunday and ends on February 6.
Preparations in many countries over the past two weeks have been hampered by players returning to tests and due to going to quarantine.
Senegal’s departure for the tournament on Wednesday was delayed by three positive visas and the Cape Verde Islands registered 21 positive results during their pre-tournament training camp.
Aubameyang, 32, played for Gabon on Tuesday, scoring in a 1-1 draw with other Mauritanian finalists in a friendly match.
He was released early from his club Arsenal and joined the Gabonese squad after falling out of favor with manager Mikel Arteta, who fired him last month following a “disciplinary violation”.
He last played for The Gunners in a 2-1 league loss to Everton on December 6.
Aubameyang signed a new three-year deal with Arsenal last year but has had a difficult time this season, scoring just four Premier League goals, the last in October.
Gabon reported a positive COVID-19 case in Dubai, but said striker Aaron Boupendza was returned with a negative rating after days of isolation and travel with other players to Cameroon on Thursday.