Ghana captain in doubt for Africa Cup of Nations soccer due to Malaria

Africa Cup of Nations

Ghana captain in doubt for Africa Cup of Nations soccer due to Malaria

Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan is a major doubt for today’s African Nations Cup Group C opener against Senegal after being diagnosed with a mild case of malaria.

The former Sunderland forward spent Saturday night in hospital but was released yesterday, the Ghana Football Association said in a statement.

“The Black Stars captain has been unable to train with the squad for the past two days because he is suffering from a mild bout of malaria,” the statement read.

“The illness was detected at an early stage and Gyan is responding well to treatment. Doctors will continue to monitor his progress ahead of the Black Stars’ opening Group C match against Senegal in Mongomo.”

The loss of the experienced Gyan would be a major setback for new coach Avram Grant, who takes charge of his first competitive fixture with the team since being appointed in late November.

Back on the pitch, Tunisia and Cape Verde began their African Nations Cup campaign with a 1-1 draw in Group B yesterday.

Tunisia, the 2004 champions, went ahead through Mohamed Ali Moncer in the 70th minute but Nhuck Heldon earned Cape Verde a point with a penalty 13 minutes from time.

Tunisia had a chance to win the game at the death but Wahbi Khazri’s shot was wastefully wide.

Earlier Yannick Bolasie earned the Democratic Republic of Congo a point in their African Nations Cup opener against Zambia.

Zambia were ahead just 62 seconds in through Given Singuluma but Crystal Palace forward Bolasie fired home the equaliser midway through the second half.

The results mean all four sides in Group B have the same goal difference and points.

“It was most important that we did not lose this match because opening games are often very tricky,” said Zambia coach Honour Janza.

“We learnt a few things and this will be a stepping stone for us in this competition.”

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