The pain of Gabon not qualifying for the upcoming Total 2019 Africa Cup Of Nations in Egypt is being felt in the entire nation.
This follows the disbandment of the entire national football team along with the sacking of the head coach Daniel Cousins.
The announcement was made on Thursday by the Gabonese sports minister Alain Claude Billie-By-Nze after they failed to qualify for Africa’s biggest football showpiece.
“The Government has decided to dissolve the entire national football team, we think they don’t deserve to represent the nation again after failing to qualify for AFCON,” Alain Claude was quoted by Gabonese media.
“We want to assure the nation that we shall restore the team very soon after scrutinizing everything, we shall give young players an opportunity to play for the nation.”
The Panthers were placed in group C along with Mali, Burundi and South Sudan. In six games Daniel Cousins’ side managed 2 victories along with the same number of draws and losses.
They finished third on eight points two behind East African minnows and AFCON debutants Burundi. Mali topped the group on 14 points a disappointing six ahead of Gabon.
The 2012 and 2017 hosts were captained by Arsenal forward Pierre Emerick Aubameyang who only scored once in the entire campaign.
The minister revealed a new team consisting of young players will be named after proper scrutiny.
It remains to be seen if Aubameyang will remain on the newly assembled squad having indicated his desire to retire from international football recently.
Gabon’s best place finish at Africa’s biggest showpiece was a quarter-final berth in 2012 when they co-hosted the tournament with Equatorial Guinea, Zambia went on to win the title beating Ivory Coast 8-7 in penalties after extra time.