December 10 – Arsenal and Gabon star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been fined $10,000 by the Confederation of African Football for social media posts criticising CAF ahead of his country’s African Cup of Nations qualifier against Gambia in November.
The Arsenal captain and his teammates were forced to temporarily sleep on the floor after being stuck at Gambia’s Banjul airport.
Gabon arrived shortly before midnight and were only allowed to go their hotel about five hours later as officials argued over COVID-19 testing.
Aubameyang made his feelings known in no uncertain terms.
“Nice job CAF, it’s as if we were back in the 1990s,” he posted, adding later: “This will not demotivate us but people need to know and CAF need to take responsibility. [It is] 2020 and we want Africa to grow but this is not how we will get there.”
In a typically over-sensitive reaction, CAF said Aubameyang had “publicly published offensive and degrading material that undermines the honour and image of the Confederation of African Football.”
CAF also hit the Gabon FA, whose team ended up losing 2-1 to Gambia, with a $10,000 fine “for breach of the values of sportsmanship and integrity on the Gabonese Football Federation for the regrettable behaviour of the player.”
In a third and far strong sanction, CAF’s disciplinary committee hit Gambia’s FA with a $100,000 fine, half of which was suspended for 24 months.
“The Gambian federation did not comply to the loyalty, integrity and sportsmanship values and rules of fair play concerning the reception of the Gabonese delegation,” CAF said in a statement.
The Gambians said they would appeal claiming that the Gabon Football Federation did not inform them of the team’s travel plans and that there had been an issue over Covid-19.
The Gambian ministry of health authorities insisted that the Gabonese delegation failed to produce the relevant paperwork for negative Covid-19 tests and also refused to undergo swabs on arrival.
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