A big meeting awaits today in Gabon. The selection travels to Mauritania (kick-off 6pm) and can validate their tickets for the next African Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast (13 January – 11 February). This would require a spectacular win or draw. Patrice Neuve’s side will rely on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to deliver this performance.
Expected to be back with the Panthers from May after a year’s absence (due to international retirement), Marseille is expected to turn the corner, but not necessarily on the football field, but on the field of politics. And even both because they are ultimately closely linked. Aubameyang and his family have been declared supporters of President Ali Bongo, ousted by an August 30 military coup that brought General Brice Oligui Nguema to power.
Support for the old regime, which is going badly
It was also through the ousted president’s contacts that the 34-year-old center forward returned to selection. But the balance of power has changed and the PEA’s political message no longer resonates with a segment of the population whose speech has become freer since the regime’s overthrow, as reported Team, To put it briefly, Aubameyang needs to rid himself of supporters, especially since he is the only one chosen to publicly display his convictions.
Under the power of the Bongo family since 1967 (Ali Bongo succeeded his father Omar Bongo in 2009), public opinion is finally coming into its own. After an unsuccessful return in May (a 2–0 defeat), he will demand from Aubameyang performances worthy of wearing the national team jersey. Patrice Neveu is not worried. “We know his value, he draws everyone behind him with his aura. He is ready for this goal. His role will be prominent. So that Gabon can move forward again.” One qualification will make everyone agree.