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Equatorial Guinea suspend AFCON 2023 topscorer Emilio Nsue for ‘indiscipine’

The Equatoguinean Football Federation has indefinitely suspended 2023 Africa Cup of Nations top goal scorer Emilio Nsue Lopez and midfielder Iban Salvador for gross indiscipline during and after the just ended tournament in Cote d’Ivoire.

In a release to the media, the Federation known by its Spanish acronym as FEGUIFUT did not detail the acts of indiscipline by the players but referred to a January 29 “unpleasant incident” by Iban in Abidjan, which necessitated the intervention of the Ivorian police.

That incident, the release signed by FEGUIFUT secretary general, Juan Antonio Nguema Mene said, “caused a major delay in the return of the team to Equatorial Guinea and also tainted its reputation”.

The statement did not give further details about the said incident.

Media reports in the country suggest the attacking midfielder  who is attached to Polish side Miedz Legnica reportedly caused trouble when the team was checking out of their hotel by accusing the staff of stealing 500 euros from him.

The disciplinary sanctions imposed on Nsue and Iban are part of a raft of measures taken by the executive board of FEGUIFUT following a board meeting at its headquarters in Malabo, the body said on its website.

Equatorial Guinea were one of the major surprises at the 2023 Afcon in Cote d’Ivoire.

The Nzalang Nacional staged an exhilarating performance, finishing top of Group ‘A’ that included giants Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria.

The giant killers advanced to the knockout stage at the competition after drawing Nigeria 1-1 in their opener, then thrashing Guinea Bissau 4-2 before demolishing the hosts and subsequent winners, Cote d’Ivoire 4-0.

Iban scored the Nzalang Nacional’s lone goal in their draw against Nigeria while Golden Boot winner Nsue, scored a hat-trick in Equatorial Guinea’s second group game against Guinea Bissau and netted a brace in their humiliation of Cote d’Ivoire to take his goal tally to five – the highest for a single player at the competition.

FEGUIFUT had earlier celebrated Nsue for emerging the tournament’s top scorer.

It posted a photo of the player on X (formerly Twitter) with the message: “Five goals in four games, Emilio Nsue, captain of the Equatorial Guinea national team is the official winner of the Golden Boot at the Afcon 2023 in Cote d’Ivoire”.

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