The sight of Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and his Gabon teammates sleeping on an airport ground marred an in any other case profitable two rounds of Africa Cup of Nations qualifying.
Gambian authorities wouldn’t permit the visiting Gabonese to go away the terminal as a result of they stated the delegation had not complied with situations geared toward combating the unfold of the coronavirus.
Confederation of African Soccer (CAF) official Omar Sey advised reporters in Banjul that the Gabonese didn’t produce Covid-19 take a look at outcomes, whereas insisting they’d been carried out earlier than leaving Libreville.
The Gabonese then needed to hand over passports and a standoff ensued with the visiting gamers compelled to sleep on the ground for nearly six hours from their midnight arrival earlier than going to their resort.
CAF responded to the incident by ordering an investigation amid criticism from former African Footballer of the 12 months Aubameyang.
“Good job CAF, it’s as if we’re again within the Nineteen Nineties. It’s 2020 and we would like Africa to develop, however this isn’t how we are going to get there,” he tweeted.
Gabon misplaced 2-1 to the Gambia, leaving the groups sharing the Group D management, one level forward of the Democratic Republic of Congo with two rounds remaining.
Though prolific Liverpool scorer Mohamed Salah and Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny examined constructive for Covid-19, the widespread disruption of the 48-match schedule that many feared didn’t materialise.
Right here, AFP Sport appears at 5 speaking factors as nations search top-two finishes and locations on the 24-nation event in Cameroon.
Captain Riyad Mahrez led by instance as Algeria gained at residence and drew away towards Zimbabwe in Group H to stretch an unbeaten run to 22 matches since October 2018.
His solo purpose sealed a 3-1 victory in Algiers and an much more spectacular effort gave the Desert Foxes a two-goal benefit in Harare that they surrendered in a 2-2 draw.
Dropping two factors didn’t, nonetheless, stop Algeria qualifying for the finals with two matches to spare, leaving Zimbabwe, Botswana and former champions Zambia to problem for the opposite qualifying place.
In hassle after dropping 4 factors final yr, document seven-time champions Egypt defeated Togo twice to switch the Comoros as Group G frontrunners.
The victories over the disappointing Togolese had been achieved within the absence of talisman Salah, who contracted Covid-19 earlier than the primary match.
Elneny examined constructive for the virus in Lome and missed a powerful 3-1 win with Aston Villa ahead Mahmoud Trezeguet among the many objectives.
African Footballer of the 12 months Sadio Mane scored the purpose that secured 2019 runners-up Senegal a spot on the subsequent finals, and his nation boast the one 100% document after 4 matchdays.
The Liverpool star broke the impasse close to Dakar in a 2-0 victory and snatched the one purpose of the return match eight minutes from time in sweltering Bissau.
Whereas Senegal have a most 12 factors, tiny island nation Sao Tome e Principe maintain the undesirable document of being the one workforce to not safe at the very least one level to date.
One other island nation, the Comoros, look set to achieve the Cup of Nations finals for the primary time, primarily because of taking 4 factors off Kenya and partly because of the Egyptian revival.
Egypt and the Comoros have eight factors every, Kenya three and Togo are out of competition with only one, and the joint leaders can clinch qualification by taking one level every in matchday 5.
A key to the rising energy of the Comorans is stability with Marseille-born coach Amir Abdou in cost since 2014 of a tight-knit squad.
Le Roy struggles
The midas contact of famed French coach Claude le Roy has abandoned him since taking cost of Togo, who share with Sao Tome, Chad and eSwatini the embarrassment of being eradicated with two rounds to play.
Earlier than establishing residence in Lome, Le Roy gained the Cup of Nations with Cameroon and left Senegal, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana and Congo Brazzaville with stronger squads than he inherited.
Whereas woeful defending in a 3-1 residence loss to Egypt was not the fault of the 72-year-old, the coach is at all times the primary goal in African soccer when issues go improper.