Ivory Coast Suffers Heavy Loss Ahead their 1st Afcon Kick-off

The goalkeeper of Ivory Coast Sylvain Gbohouo has been suspended by football’s world governing body Fifa for an alleged doping violation. The 33-year-old had been expected to be the first choice for his country at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, with the Elephants facing Equatorial Guinea in their first game on Wednesday.

Ivory Coast Goalkeeper Receieves FIFA Ban for Doping

National team coach Patrice Beaumelle was notified on 26 December that the goalkeeper had tested positive for trimetazidine, a heart medication that the World Anti-Doping Agency categorises as a stimulant. Gbohouo was named in the Ivory Coast squad for the tournament three days earlier and subsequently suspended provisionally.

His ban, which Fifa confirmed, means he is not in the team again. Gbohouo plays his club football in Ethiopia for Wolkite City. He has appealed against the ruling. According to the head coach of Ivory Coast Beaumelle, he said: “We had hope of getting a favourable response from Fifa, but yesterday I learned that they were upholding their decision.” Beaumelle added that the player, part of the 2015 Nations Cup-winning squad, was training alone, had lost weight and “is not sleeping”.

Ivory Coast Suffers Heavy Loss Ahead Their 1St Afcon Kick-Off
Sylvain Gbohouo of Ivory Coast during the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations semifinal football match between DR Congo and Ivory Coast at the Bata Stadium, Bata, Equatorial Guinea on 4 February 2015 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Ivory Coast is in Group E alongside defending champions Algeria, Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea. Elephants supporting Gbohouo

Beaumelle said “part of a molecule – a residue” had been found in a sample provided by Gbohouo.” “It’s been difficult for the player.” “He’s been here since 5 January, not knowing if he’ll be able to play. He’s not eating anymore. He’s lost weight. He’s not sleeping.” “I hope he stays with us because I think he has an important role to play around the team if he can’t be in the team.”

The manager said the goalkeeper is a great keeper and an excellent person; he said it is hard for him and his family, so the players are all supporting him because his career isn’t finished.

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