Africa Cup of Nations defending champions Cameroon have been dealt a big blow after 25-year-old striker Joel Tagueu was dropped from the team just 24 hours before their opening match in the 2019 edition of the competition against Guinea-Bissau.
Portugal-based Tagueu has been ruled out from the Indomitable Lions squad after he was diagnosed with a heart condition, ending the Maritimo man’s dreams of making a first ever appearance at the AFCON finals.
News of Tangueu’s condition was confirmed by the Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT) on Monday evening (June 24), with the team doctor stating the ailment affecting the coronary artery was first suspected during Cameroon’s training camp in Doha, Qatar.
“The Indomitable Lions team’s doctor, Prof. William Ngatchou has just detected an anomaly of an implantation of a coronary artery suspected in Qatar and confirmed on Egypt, with a risk of sudden death on the pitch,” wrote FECAFOOT in a statement.
FECAFOOT went on to reveal that Cameroon staff and players were unable to hold back their tears as the striker left the team’s camp in Ismaila, adding that an appeal to call up a replacement has been lodged with the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
“The news of Joel Tagueu’s departure from the camp was received with sadness in the camp. The staff and players couldn’t hold their tears. An appeal has been filed to CAF for his eventual replacement,” FECAFOOT added in the statement.
Five-time champions Cameroon begin their title defence against Guinea-Bissau on June 25 before facing Black Stars of Ghana on June 29 and Benin Republic on July 2.
How badly will Tagueu’s absence from AFCON 2019 affect the Indomitable Lions’ chances of retaining the title in Egypt? Share your views about this with us in the comment section.