Arsenal striker Pierre Emerick Aubameyang is set to be forced into early international retirement after the Gabonese National team was dissolved for their failure to qualify for the African Cup of Nations. The panthers failed to qualify for this year’s Nations Cup after failing to beat Sadio Berahino’s Burundi.
Following the failure to qualify, Gabon minister of Sports Alan Bilie have now disbarred the team which has left the international future of Aubameyang hanging in the balance.
“We are going to rebuild the national team on a new basis by setting aside everyone who is characterised by a lack of envy, patriotism, and who have put more emphasis on financial resources, the nation and the spirit,” Bilie said in quotes reported on Nairobi News .
Arsenal ace Aubameyang has previously faced accusations of not being committed to the Gabon team, and only last month told French TV show Talents d’Afrique: “I am thinking hard about retiring from international football.”
The Arsenal striker’s international future was thrown into doubt after he refused to travel for an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in October. A furious Aubameyang ‘rebelled’ against the plane that the Gabonese FA had arranged for the journey to face South Sudan.
The £57million frontman believed that the aircraft didn’t meet the ‘standards required for top athletes’ and allegedly told chiefs: “I will not board that thing.” Less than a month before that, Aubameyang lashed out at the Gabonese Football Federation over their announcement that his father would be the new manager of the national team.
After Aubameyang’s father, Pierre-Aubame, was named as joint-coach, alongside ex-Rangers striker Daniel Cousin, Aubameyang took to Instagram to vent his ire at the Gabon federation. He wrote: “You were wondering why I have problems with you, why I don’t want to come and play for the national team.
“You have told the whole world about my father, the so-called coach of the national team, when you did not even get his agreement! “The president of the federation called my dad but did not even care to ask about his state of health. He’s sick at the moment.
“To rush out and hold a press conference (on Wednesday) when my father said he would give his answer only the next day is another demonstration of why.” He added: “His decision, by the way, is negative. You didn’t even give him a chance to negotiate about his staff members or other things.”
Gabon’s Minister for Sport also revoked Cousin’s contract as the team’s head coach.