Mikel Arteta ‘could block Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’ from international duty
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Mikel Arteta could block Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from joining up with Gabon in the next international break after being appalled at the situation his captain was subjected to.
The Arsenal forward travelled with the Gabonese national squad to Gambia on Sunday for their African Cup of Nations qualifier the following day.
But Aubameyang and his teammates were left stuck in Gambia’s Banjul International Airport for six hours and forced to sleep on the floor after initially being denied entry into the country.
They only got onto their team bus at 6am Monday morning, eventually reaching their hotel with just a few hours to spare before they had to depart again for the stadium.
Aubameyang was stuck in the airport for hours
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Aubameyang provided updates to his followers on Instagram about the situation, posting one image of him looking bemused with the caption: "Don't think we're in. Still at the airport."
Unsurprisingly, the farce did little to help Gabon's preparation, as they were beaten 2-1 before Aubameyang and co. would then embark on the long journey home.
Officials at Gambia airport had refused the Gabon stars through as they were awaiting confirmation that each member of the squad had recorded a negative coronavirus test result.
Gabon players slept on the floor at the airport
Gunners' boss Arteta was less than impressed with the episode, and could now ban Aubameyang from attending future meetings for Gabon until the worst of the pandemic is over.
Gabon boss Patrice Neveu told Canal Plus: "Arsenal called Pierre-Emerick. After seeing him in those conditions, it’s over.
"They won’t let him come again, and it will be the same for players from other clubs.
Should Arteta allow Aubameyang to join up with Gabon in future? Have your say below.
Aubameyang may not be allowed to play in the next international fixtures
(Image: Pool via REUTERS)
"It’s understandable. They are high level players and when they come on international duty, they need to have a minimum of comfort."
In a separate interview with L’Echo Republicain, he added: "All the players tried to sleep on the airport floor. Imagine if Aubameyang, a player who costs more than €1m per month, gets injured.
"The English club can be annoyed after what’s happened. To make a player sleep the floor."