Gabon coach Daniel Cousin has withdrawn Gilchrist Nguema from his squad ahead of their final Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Burundi after it was discovered the player does not have a club.
The 22-year-old central defender was called up to the 23-man party for the first time ahead of Gabon’s decisive group C match in Bujumbura on 23 March.
He was listed as a player of Macau’s Benfica but Gabon’s Football Federation (Fegafoot) says Nguema is not currently attached to any club.
“After a thorough investigation, it appears that the player who is currently staying in Gabon, has been without a club for a few months now,” Fegafoot said in a statement.
“The national team is not a field of experimentation.
“The President of Fegafoot reminds the various national coaches of all categories that they have the obligation to select players in good shape to avoid desecrating the principles of performance and prestige that should govern the national teams,” Fegafoot added.
Nguema, who featured for Benfica Macau last year, has now been replaced in the Gabon squad by defender Franck Obambou who plays for Libyan club Al Ittihad.
Gabon must defeat Burundi to reach this year’s finals in Egypt.
Burundi on the other hand just need a draw to qualify for their first ever Nations Cup finals.