In a press release this Tuesday, November 14, 2023, the Gabonese Football Federation (Fégafoot) announced the exclusion of Didier Ndong and Aaron Boupendza from the list of Panthers selected for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. The body speaks of indiscipline.
Expected since Friday, November 10 to join the national team regrouping in preparation for the match against Kenya, Didier Ndong and Aaron Boupendza were conspicuous by their absence until the day before the match. This situation annoyed the new Panthers staff who quickly reacted to this failure.
“The technical staff, in accordance with the new paradigm focused on discipline and out of respect for the entire group present in Bongoville, took the decision to return Didier Ndong and Aaron Boupendza to their clubs,” declared Fegafoot in its communicated.
“ This approach aims to put the Les Panthères national team, as an institution, above any other personal consideration. From now on, only Gabonese people who love patriotism, respect the den and are committed to defending the values of the republic with dignity will be called into the national team.“Presence in the country for selection purposes often means visiting family for Gabonese internationals, which has already given rise to this type of “delay” in the past,” added the body.
This drastic decision underlines the importance given to discipline within the new technical team. The Gabon Panthers, under the leadership of the new staff, have a clear objective of achieving superior performances on the field. This dismissal sends a strong message to players about the commitment and professionalism expected within the national team, especially as crucial matches approach. Strict player management aims to establish a culture of responsibility and cohesion within the team, with the ambition of lifting the Panthers to new heights in the world of international football.