AFCON 2019: Arsenal's Aubameyang, 5 other football stars to miss tournament

AFCON 2019: Arsenal's Aubameyang, 5 other football stars to miss tournament

The Africa Cup of Nations provides footballers a rare platform for them to showcase their talent to potential European suitors.

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However, there are those who have already made a name for themselves in the game within the continent and beyond.

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Whereas some of the big names made the cut to the biennial tournament set Kick-off on Friday, June 21, in Egypt, there are a few that will not have the chance to grace the tournament due to injury or failure by their countries to qualify.

Briefly takes a look at six of the top African footballers who will not make an appearance at the 32nd edition of the tournament.

1. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - Gabon

Despite Aubameyang's versatility and incredible finishing skills upfront, the Arsenal forward could not help his country book a place in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Gabon failed to qualify after being held to a 1-1 draw by Burundi in Bujumbura to finish third in Group C of the qualifiers.

2. Joel Matip - Cameroon

The defender will not take part in the continental showpiece despite his country qualifying for the competition.

The Liverpool star resolved to retire from international football, a shock decision that was widely criticised by Cameroon fans.

The German-born defender played an integral part in Liverpool's 2018/19 campaign that saw the Reds lift the Champions League title.

3. Emmanuel Adebayor - Togo

The veteran Togo striker will also not play any part in Egypt after his country failing to qualify for the tournament.

Togo were involved in a do-or-die affair with Benin during the qualifiers, losing 2-0 to The Squirrels.

Benin eventually finished runners-up behind Algeria to seal a place.

4. Eric Bailly - Ivory Coast

The towering Manchester United defender picked a knee injury against Chelsea back in April that will keep him out of the competition.

He sustained the injury after a collision with Blues midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

5. Gervinho - Ivory Coast

Gervinho is the other big name that will not be participating in the 2019 AFCON.

Despite impressing in the Serie A with Parma, the former Arsenal striker did not earn a call up to the national team.

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His place was taken up by Nicolas Pepe who was the runner-up to Kylian Mbappe in the French Ligue 1 2018/19 Golden Boot race.

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha and Wilfried Bony were also preferred upfront by Ivory Coast coach Ibrahim Kamara.

6. Kelechi Iheanacho - Nigeria

Iheanacho had a bright start to his international career after notching seven goals in 11 appearances for the Super Eagles.

However, the Leicester City striker lost a place in the Super Eagles national team after Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr raising question on his attitude.

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